Rich Franklin’s quest to get another shot at the UFC middleweight title begins later this year when he meets Cung Le. Franklin, a former champion in the division, will be returning after over a year off due to shoulder surgery when he meets Le at UFC 148.

After bouncing around weight classes, “Ace” decided to approach the UFC about returning to middleweight and putting together what he called a “Cinderella story” in a recent interview with

After the injury, I was talking to Monte Cox and I said what would the UFC think about me moving back down to 185? If I was able to put a title run together, even if they did do another rematch with Anderson (Silva) and I, there’s been enough time at this point that there would be interest in the fight. That would be my Cinderella story. It would be great.

Franklin has met “The Spider” twice, with Silva earning a first round knockout and a second round TKO. The first cost Franklin his UFC middleweight title.

With the number of challengers for Silva starting to add up, it remains a shot-in-the-dark that Franklin ever receives a third opportunity. However, a win over a contender such as Mark Munoz or Michael Bisping down the road could lead to that meeting Franklin is chasing.

Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog