He has fought former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Anderson Silva twice and lost via knockout on both occasions. Still, Rich Franklin wants to fight the Brazilian for his final rodeo in the UFC’s Octagon.
The former school teacher and current Vice President of One Fighting Championship (ONE FC) has one remaining fight left on his UFC contract.
Despite having to discuss with Chief Executive of ONE FC Victor Cui before making any decision about his last fight, Franklin is adamant that he wants to leave UFC on a high.
“I’m going to sit down with Victor because we are going to discuss about my responsibility within the company,“ Franklin told #RedCardConnect.
“I don’t have anybody in mind, but for the final fight, I want it to be an epic battle. I would love to fight Anderson Silva again. I’m sure the fans would want that to happen as well.”
Silva will return to the Octagon for the first time to fight Nick Diaz at UFC 183 in Las Vegas in January 2015. It will be his long awaited comeback after his horrific leg injury in his loss against reigning champion Chris Weidman.
Franklin is excited for the match up and feels that Diaz has the ability to cause problems for Silva if he takes the fight to the ground.
“I’m excited for that fight,” said the American. “I like Nick’s fighting style and I really think he is going to give Anderson some problems.”
“It will be interesting to see if Nick stands-up or take the fight to the ground but if Nick is going to stand up all day, Anderson won’t have a problem.”
As for the issue of ring rust due to Silva’s one-year absence from the Octagon, Franklin feels that it is a non-issue for the legendary fighter.
“He has had such a long lay off but I think that won’t be able to affect somebody with a championship mentality,” noted Franklin.
There have been fears in the MMA world that Silva’s performance will be hampered by his fears of suffering another devastating injury but Franklin was disagreed with those sentiments.
“Listen, anytime something like that happens, there will be reservations,” the 40-year-old argued. “But make no mistake, if you do things properly, everything will be back to normal.”
“I had a reconstructed shoulder surgery in September 2011 and I came back and fought in June 2012, less than nine months later. I was confident that my shoulder was good to go.
“So I’m sure anybody who is in that situation will do everything to ensure that they [do their] rehab properly. He is definitely going to come back to that cage feeling confident.”
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/ US Presswire