Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin has stepped away from MMA for over a year, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t planning one final return.
Franklin, who lost to Cung Le via knockout back in 2012, recently talked to Submission Radio about the prospects of a third meeting with Anderson Silva. “The Spider” stopped Franklin in 2006 and ’07 via TKO, with bot losses coming due to knees delivered by the Brazilian.
“Absolutely,” said Franklin, when asked if he would fight Silva again. “Is it because I feel like I have some unfinished business? Not at all. It’s just, in my mind, I 100-percent wholeheartedly believe that I can beat Anderson in a fight.
“It wouldn’t be for any reason like redemption or vengeance or retribution or any other kinda cool word that we’ve seen on a UFC poster before, but I would fight him and I believe I could beat him and that’s just me with the champions mentality.”
Franklin (29-7) has gone 5-4 since the last defeat at the hands of Silva, including two wins over Wanderlei Silva and a knockout of Chuck Liddell. He’s also been stopped by Le and Vitor Belfort in that time, along with decision defeats at the hands of Forrest Griffin and Dan Henderson.
Silva remains in recovery from a broken leg suffered last December against Chris Weidman. He has stated plans to return to action in 2015.
With one bout remaining on his fight contract, Franklin believes his next time inside the Octagon will be his last, but isn’t ready to completely close the door.
“That fight, as of right now, it’ll be my last,” he stated. “Between now and the time i actually say I retire, I could change my mind. I always reserve the right to change my mind.
“I turn 40 this year and I’m in good health, my body feels pretty good.”