Since losing to middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva in 2007, Rich Franklin has stepped up to the plate for the UFC time and time again.
The former math teacher has repeatedly done favors for the UFC, like stepping into last-minute main event spots, such as he did at Saturday’s UFC 147 against Wanderlei Silva. With Vitor Belfort out due to a hand injury, the UFC needed a main event and Franklin took the fight on two weeks notice.
Knowing how big UFC 147 was, and what it means to the UFC and Brazil, Franklin couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fight Silva one more time. He wound up taking a unanimous decision over Silva after their five-round showdown.
“To be here in Brazil and fight Wanderlei pretty much in his home town, I’ve been in this position before,” Franklin said at the UFC 147 post-fight press conference.
“For the second time when Anderson came in my hometown and defeated me, so I know what that feels like. I know that this is a big fight not only for just, but for the country, for the UFC and all that kind of stuff.
“Although I didn’t get cheered for, I didn’t get booed too bad either. This was a really good experience, more than any other, and I’ve fought for many other countries in the UFC now and spread the market. I think that more than any other country I’ve been in that this is one of the most gratifying.”
Moving forward, Franklin hopes that after all the favors he’s done over the last few years, he will be repaid with a future title shot at 185 pounds. The 37-year-old knows that he doesn’t have much time left, but he wants to try to leave the sport on top.
“Well moving back down again to 185, the idea was that enough time had passed since my title fight, perhaps if I could put a couple of wins together that I could make another run at the title before I retired. That’ll be a discussion that I talk to Dana about and the UFC in general to see what would be next for me.
“That was my intention for moving down to 185 and I’m glad that you and everyone else notices that I bailed the UFC out a lot because I’m hoping that’s going to pay off in the future at some point in time.”
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