Speculation that Rich Franklin may test the waters in the UFC’s current light heavyweight division appears to be more than just rumor as MMARated.com is reporting that Franklin’s set to face Matt Hamill at UFC 88 in the 205lbs. division.
MMARated.com has learned that Rich Franklin will face Matt Hamill at UFC 88 at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta on Sept. 6. This fight will mark Franklin’s return to the 205lbs. division.
MMAJunkie.com first reported that Franklin was considering moving up to the light heavyweight division yesterday. Today, MMARated.com was able to confirm the switch as well as his opponent.
I’m glad to see Franklin moving up, at least for the time being. He obviously isn’t going to be taking Anderson Silva’s middleweight belt away from him anytime soon. It doesn’t make much sense for Rich or the UFC to have Franklin stay at 185lbs. and continue to knock off title contenders.
I like this matchup with Matt Hamill as well. Hamill is a much improved fighter since his stint on season three of The Ultimate Fighter. Despite the awful decision that put him on the losing end of a solid performance against Michael Bisping at UFC 75, Hamill came back strong and looked great in a dominant win over Tim Boetsch at Ultimate Fight Night 13.
Franklin may be the more talented, experienced and skilled of the two fighters, but 20lbs. is a big step up in weight and Hamill is no slouch. It’s an appropriate test for Franklin to see where he fits in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.