MENU
#Dynasty of Heroes #Conor McGregor #Fight One #UFC 211 #Ben Askren #Ramsey Nijem #Julian Lane #Nate Diaz #Justin Buchholz #Jon Jones #Angela Lee #Diaz vs. McGregor 2 #Duane Ludwig #Shinya Aoki #Istela Nunes


Rich Franklin would be the best fighter in his weight class if only he could convince UFC president Dana White to add a 195-pound division.

The former middleweight champion has, for all intents and purposes, outgrown the middleweight class, but he's too small to compete with elite light heavyweights.

That was proven in his last fight, when he was manhandled by ex-light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin at UFC 126 last year. Griffin's size clearly was the difference.

Franklin will get his wish Saturday when he meets Wanderlei Silva in a rematch of their epic 2009 slugfest in the main event of UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in a bout contested at 190 pounds.

Franklin was training for a bout with Cung Le at UFC 148 but agreed to take on Silva again when Vitor Belfort injured a hand and had to pull out of the match at UFC 147.

Because it's not a title fight and because he was losing two weeks of training in a bid to cut to 185 pounds for the Le fight, the UFC accommodated Franklin and made the bout with Silva at 190 pounds.

[Rich Franklin: Comparing the fighting styles of Wanderlei Silva and Cung Le]

Franklin, who lost the middleweight title to Anderson Silva at UFC 64 on Oct. 14, 2006, typically cuts from 205 pounds to make the middleweight limit of 185. The problem when he's fighting middleweights is that he gets dried out in making the weight and that impacts performance.

But fighting at light heavyweight means he's not cutting and is giving up 15, 20 pounds or more come fight time.

The former math teacher said the difference is "indescribable" between fighting at 185 and 190 and gave an apt analogy of the struggles he faces to make the various weights.

"Imagine a sponge that you wash dishes with sitting on your sink, and you take that sponge and you fill it with water to the point that the water is dripping out," Franklin said. "That's what your body is like on a normal basis. Now, when I'm cutting weight, at the middle of that week, it's like taking that sponge and wringing the water out as hard as I possibly could, trying to get every drop of water out. That's what my body is like at 190 pounds.

"Now, take that sponge that had the water wrung out of it and let it sit on the counter overnight. It would be dry and hard, like a brick. And that's what my body is like at 185 pounds. That's the difference. A lot of times, people say, 'I can't believe he only had a pound,' or 'I can't believe he couldn't lose two pounds.' But it's not the first two pounds that are the most difficult to lose. It's the last two, and sometimes the sponge is completely out of water and you can't get any more out no matter how hard you squeeze."

Franklin is willing to squeeze as hard as he can to try to get back to 185 eventually and make one final title run. He's closer to his 38th birthday than to his 37th and he knows he doesn't have a long time.

The end of a career that will ultimately earn him a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame is rapidly approaching.

And like any high-level athlete, he wants to go out, if he can, in a blaze of glory. If he's on the final lap, another win over Silva would be a good way to begin it.

"Like any other kid who grows up dreaming of being a professional athlete, I had the ability to pursue it and God blessed me with a tremendously successful career," he said. "I will always be thankful for that. I wake up and I do what I love on a daily basis. I have this fight next in front of me and it's the one that I'm focused on. The most important thing to me about this fight is winning it.

"All the other stuff, whether or not I make it to the title again, doesn't matter. This is what I have to worry about. That stuff will come in time, if it is meant to be. I'm a very competitive guy and I want to win fights and I want to make another title run. But there is no more important moment, or more important fight, for me than fighting Wanderlei [on Saturday] in Brazil. A win over Wanderlei Silva is a huge thing for any fighter, and that's all that is on my mind right now."

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Dan Wetzel: Jerry Sandusky's defense bolstered by tape establishing police led accuser's statement
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA hoping to generate more revenue with World Cup of Basketball proposal
Pat Forde: Michael Phelps will enter seven events at U.S. swim trials
Y! Screen: Baseball player excels despite being deaf

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Ex-champion Anthony Pettis to make lightweight return at UFC 213 vs. Jim Miller

  • 23 days ago
  • 10 views

After two fights at 145 pounds, Anthony Pettis is headed back to the weight class he used to rule.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Henry Cejudo forced out of UFC 211 fight with Sergio Pettis; Branch-Jotko moved to main card

  • 16 days ago
  • 4 views

Just when it seemed the first 14-fight card in UFC history was going to go off without a hiccup, a crucial flyweight contest has fallen off Saturday’s UFC 211 lineup.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

UFC champ Amanda Nunes' plan? Beat Shevchenko again, then go up to 145

  • 14 days ago
  • 15 views

Amanda Nunes’ next challenge will come at 135 pounds. After that, though? The UFC women’s bantamweight champion wants to move up to 145 pounds.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Demian Maia expects UFC title shot next, but 'not going to sell' to be champion

  • 13 days ago
  • 18 views

DALLAS – Demian Maia was forced to take the scenic route in his quest to become UFC welterweight champion, but it appears his opportunity will finally come after beating Jorge Masvidal on Saturday at read news >>

UFC 212 Loses a Bout Due to Injury | MMAWeekly.com

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 views

An injury has forced a fight to drop off the UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway fight card taking place on June 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. read news >>

White: With UFC champ Bisping injured, Romero and Whittaker could fight for interim belt

  • 8 days ago
  • 10 views

The UFC could soon have yet another interim title.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

With Michael Bisping Sidelined, UFC May Make Interim Title Fight | MMAWeekly.com

  • 8 days ago
  • 42 views

With UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping still not recovered from a knee injury, UFC officials are considering an interim middleweight title fight. read news >>

Mark Henry: UFC champ Conor McGregor should pursue boxing beyond Floyd Mayweather

  • 8 days ago
  • 17 views

Renowned MMA striking coach Mark Henry admires Conor McGregor’s boxing skills, so much so he believes the UFC lightweight champion should pursue a career in the sport beyond fighting Floyd Mayweather read news >>

UFC 212 finalized lineup and extended video preview for Aldo vs. Holloway in Rio

  • 8 days ago
  • 39 views

Check out the full finalized lineup and an extended video preview for the next UFC pay-per-view event.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

John Makdessi knows UFC game has changed, calls out nearly everyone ... and Artem Lobov, too

  • 7 days ago
  • 21 views

There’s a thing MMA fighters like to do, and to some from the outside looking in, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. The old adage goes something like this: “I don’t want to call anybody out. I’ll just read news >>