It appears the UFC is already hard at work lining up Randy Couture’s next fight. According to Sherdog, they’ve approached Couture about the possibility of fighting Rich Franklin at UFC 115.

Randy Couture, fresh off his submission win over fellow hall of famer Mark Coleman may be heading back to the Octagon this June to take on former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

The fight is in the early planning stages, and Couture confirmed to on Thursday that he has been broached about it. He said he had to contemplate committing to the bout due to prior commitments with his film acting career.

The fight would most likely be the co-main event of UFC 115 alongside the third installment of the ongoing Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz feud, which is scheduled for June 12 at Vancouver’s GM Place.

Couture’s name has already been thrown out there by a bunch of media members to step in and fight Anderson Silva at UFC 112, but it’s nothing more than ideas at this point. It’s unclear who the UFC is considering for Belfort’s replacement, but I’m not sure Randy Couture would be anywhere near the top of their list. Dana White has been pushing Couture hard as a potential light heavyweight title contender recently, so I doubt they’d be willing to risk getting him in one last title fight by putting him in the cage with someone as dangerous as Anderson Silva.

Franklin on the other hand is a solid opponent that has the skills to test Couture, but doesn’t nearly as much of a threat to put Couture’s lights out like Silva does. They could sell a Couture title fight off a win against either name, but he has to win, and his chances of doing that are dramatically higher against Franklin than they are against Silva.

Franklin has yet to be approached about the fight, so we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, but it does make a lot of sense if the UFC’s goal is to get Couture in a title fight at the end of 2010.

Image via Sherdog

Update: If Randy Couture fights Rich Franklin next, it probably won’t be at UFC 115. His manager is thinking more like August. Also said Couture was never approached to fight Anderson Silva at UFC 112.