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UFC 99 Fallout: Rich Franklin’s Legacy

June 15, 2009

rich_franklin_winnerOne thing I was thinking about last week was Rich Franklin’s legacy. I started watching the UFC sometime during the 40’s. (Quick clarification: UFC 40’s, no the 1940’s.) Ever since then I’ve been hooked – obviously. That’s not really the point. In my formative UFC years, Rich Franklin was the best. Dude won the middleweight belt at UFC 53 and defended it twice. School teacher turned fighter. Xyience commercials and all that good stuff.

Then UFC 64 rolled around. At that point in Franklin’s career, he was 20-1 and that single loss had come against someone I had never heard of  – Lyoto Machida. The 3X champion was set to defend his title against 16-4 Anderson Silva who had won just once inside the octagon. You know what happened next. Silva is a puzzle that Franklin couldn’t solve in two fights. After the second fight, he admitted another rematch was the last thing on his mind. I thought he’d been broken.

The thing is, between the Silva fights, he won twice, once against Yushin Okami. He remains the only person to beat Okami inside the octagon. Since the last Silva fight, he has now won 3 of 4. His only defeat was a split decision loss to Dan Henderson.

So what about Saturday’s win over Wanderlei Silva? The Axe Murderer hasn’t had the best time in the UFC. Franklin handed him his 3rd loss in 4 tries in the UFC. Wanderlei thinks he won and wants a rematch. I don’t see any point. Silva has hit a wall in the UFC. He can’t get past the highest tier competition – which he has faced in each of his fights. Wanderlei needs to start fighting the up-and-comers. He’s always an exciting fight, but he’s not in contention anymore.

Franklin will turn 35 in October. He seems to be as good as ever.

Historically, how good is “Ace?” There’s only one way to find out.

Franklin should leapfrog the winner of Forrest-Silva for the next shot at the LHW belt. (I assume that is the UFC’s plan.) It would give him a chance to avenge one of his 4 career losses -Machida. If he can do what no one else has ever done and beat Machida, he gets Anderson again. Of course, he might now win either of those fights (at any weight), but that doesn’t mean those fights don’t also help to solidify the standings of Machida or Silva. And those in turn should help define Franklin.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2009 12:07 pm

    i think ace is like charles barkley or any superstar who would of attained best in the game status if a certain G.O.A.T wasnt around. his mj is anderson silva.*

    *i am comparing bball to mma so new readers will understand

  2. June 15, 2009 2:10 pm

    If the UFC booked rematches for Liddell, they should do the same for Franklin. I would love to see him match up against Machida again.

    • June 15, 2009 2:27 pm

      The only difference is that Liddell’s rematches were middle-of-the-pack fights that came with “He could put himself in position for a title shot” sentiments. I think Franklin is a legitimate contender.

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