Rich Franklin recently lost by unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin at UFC 125, a result that rules him out of the 205lb title picture for the time being, and so it’s not entirely clear what comes next for the former middleweight champion.
In a new interview on Inside MMA yesterday, Franklin admits that he has no concrete plans as far as either an opponent or a weight class goes for his next visit to the Octagon, though he does casually drop in the name of a certain British fighter who’s hit the headlines recently.
“I’ve kind of always fitted into the puzzle wherever the UFC needed me, and if they said hey, take a fight at 195, I’d take a fight at 195, if they said take a fight at 185…if they said fight [Michael] Bisping, I’d fight Bisping…I would step back in at 185 or stay at 205, whatever they wanted me to do.”
Despite his losses to Anderson Silva, I’ve always felt that middleweight is where Franklin belongs, and a fight with Bisping certainly sounds like good match-making to me.
Though their personalities are almost polar-opposites, as a fighter Bisping is almost the UK equivalent of Franklin – well rounded, solid technical boxing ability though little in the way of devastating power, and excellent cardio.
I do believe it’s a fight that favors Franklin, but it would be competitive.
Timing wise a fight between the two isn’t out of the question either. According to Franklin he’ll be back in the Octagon in a matter of months.
“I’d imagine I’d fight mid-June, late June, something like that,” Franklin said.
That would appear to be around the time Bisping would also be looking to get back into action after his win over Jorge Rivera at UFC 127, assuming he isn’t punished to harshly for his antics post-fight in Australia.
Conveniently, June is also rumored to be a potential landing-spot for the next UFC event in the UK, and Franklin Vs Bisping would fit the bill as a headliner for that show.
Bisping isn’t exactly short of potential opponents at the moment however, with the likes of Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort also champing at the bit to face him.
Watch Franklin’s comments during the latest episode of Inside MMA below.