Franklin checked in at 185 pounds for his showdown with former Strikeforce champion Cung Le (186) in the UFC on Fuel TV 6 main event on Saturday at the CotaiArena in Macau, China. The 10 other fighters booked for main card duty, including co-headliners Thiago Silva (205) and Stanislav Nedkov (203), also met their contracted weight requirements without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in.
The 38-year-old Franklin last appeared at UFC 147 in June, when he captured a unanimous decision from Wanderlei Silva at Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and, in doing so, became the first man to ever defeat “The Axe Murderer” twice. A professional since June 2009, the Cincinnati native still has never lost back-to-back fights, with 25 of his 29 career wins coming by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Franklin -- who held the UFC middleweight title from June 4, 2005 until Oct. 14, 2006 -- has not competed at 185 pounds since April 2008. He has compiled a 14-5 mark inside the Octagon, the 14 victories tying him for eighth on the all-time list.
Le notched his first Ultimate Fighting Championship win at UFC 148 in July, when he took a unanimous verdict over Patrick Cote at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 40-year-old sanshou stylist opened his MMA career with six consecutive finishes, including a March 2008 technical knockout against Frank Shamrock that brought him Strikeforce gold. Le has gone 2-2 since.
UFC on Fuel TV 6 “Franklin vs. Le” -- which airs live on Fuel TV at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT -- will also feature a welterweight duel pitting Dong Hyun Kim (170.5) against Paulo Thiago (169.5), a bantamweight tilt matching Takeya Mizugaki (135.5) with Jeff Hougland (135) and a pair of lightweight battles, as Takanori Gomi (155) collides with Mac Danzig (155) and Tiequan Zhang (155) meets Jon Tuck (156). The three preliminary bouts will stream live to the UFC’s Facebook page: Alex Caceres (136) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (135.5), Yasuhiro Urushitani (125.5) vs. John Lineker (126) and Riki Fukuda (186) vs. Tom DeBlass (185). The UFC canceled the Hyun Gyu Lim-David Mitchell welterweight bout after Lim was not medically cleared to compete.