We all know that Rich Franklin has the heart of a lion. The former UFC Middleweight Champion has fought the cream of the crop in every one of his UFC bouts.
Although he currently has one fight left on his UFC contract, 'Ace' has not been seen in the Octagon since a KO loss to Cung Le in November 2012. After 37 MMA fights, it seems that Franklin is retired, especially having most recently started an organic fruit juice business.
However Franklin has not yet put a comeback out of sight - he has stated that he intends to fulfil his contract.
Anderson Silva is the man who took the Middleweight title off the 39-year-old. Having lost twice to 'The Spider', Franklin is not ruling out a triology match up. Speaking to Submission Radio, he said:
"Would I fight Anderson a third time? Absolutely. Is it because I feel like I have some unfinished business? Not at all. It's just, in my mind as a champion and to have the mentality of a champion, I 100 per cent wholeheartedly believe that I can beat Anderson in a fight.
"Not just Anderson, but just anybody like that's the mentality you have to have. If somebody says 'Rich do you think you can beat Anderson Silva in a fight?' Absolutely, yes. 'Rich do you think you could beat Jon Jones in a fight?' Absolutely yes.
"Like, you have to answer 'yes' to those questions and not just because it's a formality, but because you believe that stuff, because you believe in yourself and if you don't believe in yourself then you don't have any business pursuing a title in a sport or something like that, you don't have any business in the pursuit of being the best.
"And so yeah I would take a fight with Anderson. 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 yeah I would fight him and I believe I could beat him and that's just me with the champion's mentality."
This fight would be a very strange one to make. Is was not like Franklin has a point to prove for a start, as he has had a fantastic career, one that will see him enter the UFC Hall of Fame one day. However, the fight with Silva makes no sense - he was beaten badly twice by Silva.
If the fights had been closer, you could argue it would work. However, Anderson dominated Franklin and finished him twice with devastating knees.
A triology fight with Wanderlei Silva would make a lot more sense if 'Ace' was to fight again. They have had two outstanding fights, both earning Fight of the Night honours. A third fight would be an outstanding way for Franklin to go out on.
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