Rich Franklin Tosses Retirement Plans Aside, Looks To Michael Bisping For Next Fight
By Timothy J. Gilbert
After Rich Franklin was brutally KO’ed in his last fight against Cung Lee at UFC on Fuel TV 6, the former UFC welterweight champion looks to fight again, mentioning Michael Bisping as a possible future opponent.
Franklin was coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Wanderlei Silva before the loss to Lee set him back. Since then the 38-year-old veteran has remained awfully quiet about the future of his fighting career.
In an interview with MMA Weekly, Franklin opened up about the difficulties that have come with his age,
“I wake up with bumps and bruises and aches and pains, but I feel pretty good at this age, and I know that if I train for another five years, it’s really going to tear into me. I can feel a difference now preparing for a fight as opposed to even three, four or five years ago. There’s a big difference.”
He knows that his remaining time in the sport is limited; it’s for these reasons that the former schoolteacher knows that a championship run is out of reach,
“After my last fight, the timetable for me to recapture the 185 title has been way set back. I’m at a point where I’m not going to put in two, two-and-a-half years to get back at a title shot. I know I don’t have that in me, so now I’m faced with a decision: ‘what do I do?’”
That’s an interesting question. Although Franklin has beaten some of the best fighters to ever compete in the octagon, he is 4-4 in his last eight fights, and just had what was supposed to be his last title run viciously cut short by Lee.
According to Franklin; however, retirement is not the answer. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on Monday’s MMA Hour Franklin said,
“I haven’t been sitting on my end thinking about retirement. I don’t want any of the fans out there to think, ‘Oh, Rich is just out there contemplating retiring.'”
Comforting words, but they certainly don’t explain where the struggling middleweight’s career is heading.
“I look at my Twitter and a lot of people talk about (Michael) Bisping,” said Franklin. “That would be an exciting fight and something the fans would want to see. I’m an exciting fighter, he’s an exciting fighter, and we both like to throw down.” Franklin said to MMA Weekly. “Since my ultimate goal is not to go back and capture the 185-pound title, it doesn’t really matter to me if it’s at 185 or a catchweight or 205. Wherever the UFC needed me, I would fight, as long as the fight made sense.”
It might not make the most sense for the surging Bisping to fight an aging legend with no hopes of title contention, but whether or not the two ever face-off one thing is set; Rich Franklin will fight again.