Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin isn’t looking to quietly walk away from MMA. Absent from the cage since his 2012 knockout loss to Cung Le, fans have wondered if they’d seen the last of the teacher turned fighter. Speaking with Submission Radio, Franklin says not only does he have unfinished business in the sport, but that he’d love to face fellow former champion Anderson Silva a third time.
“Would I fight Anderson a third time? Absolutely,” says Franklin. “Is it because I feel like I have some unfinished business? Not at all. It’s just, in my mind as a champion and to have the mentality of a champion I 100% wholeheartedly believe that I can beat Anderson in a fight.”
Silva first captured his title in a stunning first-round, TKO victory over Franklin at UFC 64 in October 2006. It would be the start to the longest running title reign in UFC history.
“It wouldn’t be for any reason like redemption of vengeance or retribution or any other kinda cool word that we’ve seen on a UFC poster before, but yeah I would fight him and I believe I could beat him.”
As for Silva’s on-going recovery from a broken leg, Franklin can certainly sympathize. ‘Ace’ hasn’t won back-to-back fights since scoring a pair of TKO wins against Matt Hamill and Travis Lutter in 2008, much of which could likely be attributed to a struggle to stay healthy.
“Now, I have a plate in my hand much like Anderson has a rod in his leg and I know how difficult that is,” says Franklin. “Fortunately, I’m hitting things direct, straight impact where Anderson is moving his leg like a ball bat, so I really don’t understand how he’s gonna be able to kick with that leg in the future, because it’s his left, it’s his rear leg, it’s his kicking leg. So I don’t know how he’s going to be able to move forward that way with that leg.”