Posts Tagged ‘Rich Franklin’

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Cung Le is the latest fighter to call out British badboy Michael Bisping, saying he wants to fight “The Count” once he recovers from a lingering elbow injury.

It seems as though not a day goes by when someone is calling out Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Michael Bisping, and the latest name on that list is Cung Le.

The former Strikeforce 185-pound champion is still rehabbing a right elbow injury that he revealed after his first-round knockout of Rich Franklin at UFC on FUEL TV 6 in Nov. 2011, but when he returns to the cage believes a match up with “The Count” would be perfect at this stage of his career.

“That would be a great fight for the fans,” Le said of fighting Bisping in a recent interview with ESPN. “That would be a big fight. But I’m not the one to make that decision. Whether I’m at the top of that list for the fight or on the bottom, it ultimately comes down to who Joe Silva and the UFC decide who we fight.”

At 40 years of age and with a budding movie career in his back pocket, Le does not need to compete in mixed martial arts (MMA) to support himself financially like many others, so at this point he only really participates in the sport for the challenges.

There are only a few appealing match ups to the longtime combat sports veteran for his return to the cage, but squaring off against the season 3 winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show is the top priority.

“I’m not going to accept just any fight, and at this point in my career I don’t have to,” said Le. “I’ve worked hard to be where I am. I’ve had a few setbacks, but other than that, I’m just going to heal up and whatever happens, happens.”

In the last few weeks alone, Bisping has received challenges from former UFC champion Rich Franklin (read here) and former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold (read here).

Any of the match ups are intriguing for Bisping on paper, but when reached by ESPN for a response to Le’s comments, the 34-year-old said Le is the fight he’d like most due to the fact he is on a two-fight win-streak while Franklin and Rockhold were knocked out in the first round of their last fights.

“Of those three, Cung Le would be the most attractive,” Bisping told ESPN in response to Le’s comments. “He’s on a two-fight win streak. He just knocked out Rich Franklin. So I would fight him.”

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

For now, most of Cung Le‘s butt-kicking will be relegated to the silver screen as he patches up a few minor injuries and waits for a “ginormous” opportunity. But will his phone ever ring?

Easy Cung, easy go.

Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le is currently riding the pine while he bandages up the boo-boos on his ailing elbow. The good news is, those little nicks and dings won’t keep him from returning to “Tinseltown” for his upcoming movie role opposite Dolph “I must break you” Lundgren.

They will, however, keep him from climbing into the Octagon.

That’s because Le (via Bleacher Report) just crossed the 40 mark, which means he needs a “ginormous” opportunity — like coaching The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) — before he would consider getting his hands dirty for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

“I feel like right now as I recover I want to see where I’m at. It would be awesome if I get like a TUF coach (job). Before I got into mixed martial arts I was the head coach of the U.S. National San-Shou team. I love to coach and it would be a fun experience to coach. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I’ve got a lot of things going on for me, but I know where my roots are. I’m very competitive and if something comes up that’s ginormous and I’m healthy, I’ll be ready to go. For me it’s all about wait and see. The hunger’s there, but I have to (be) smarter now that I’m 40 and the recovery’s not as fast as even in my 30’s. I’m in L.A. right now, I even have my trainer out here. We’re going to make sure we stay in shape.”

Of course, there’s always that dream fight against Anderson Silva.

Le hasn’t seen action since killing Rich Franklin at UFC on FUEL TV 6 in Macao. Putting “Ace” in his place last November pushed the part-time actor to 2-1 under the UFC banner, after racking up an impressive 7-1 record for Strikeforce.

If and when he returns, remains to be seen.

Photo by Anton Tabuena

6 months removed from his KO loss to Cung Le, Franklin is finally talking about what’s up next for his fight career. He’s not ready to call it quits just yet and he’s eyeing The Count for his return to the cage.

In the headlining fight for UFC: Macao in November, Rich Franklin was brutally knocked out by a counter right from Cung Le. The loss killed any momentum Franklin had built in winning a decision over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147. Since then, “Ace” has been markedly quiet about what his next move would be.

Franklin broke his silence with an appearance on last week’s episode of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. Before anything else, Rich wanted to assure his fans that he has no plans to retire just yet:

“I haven’t been sitting on my end thinking about retirement,” Franklin told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour Monday. “I don’t want any of the fans out there to think, ‘Oh, Rich is just out there contemplating retiring.'”

“The loss to Cung was a big setback for me. Unexpected in my camp,” Franklin said. “I’m kind of sitting here thinking what’s my next move going to be. And I realized I’m 38 years old and my time is limited in the sport. I know that I’m not going to be fighting another 10 years. I have to start think about the things that I’m doing outside of MMA.

In an interview with MMA Weekly, Franklin admitted that he knows another title run is beyond his grasp at this point. The 2-2.5 years he thinks it would take him to reach contendership is more than he can continue to fight. However, he wants to compete 1 or 2 more times for the UFC and he has someone in mind for his next bout:

I look at my Twitter and a lot of people talk about (Michael) Bisping. That would be an exciting fight and something the fans would want to see. I’m an exciting fighter, he’s an exciting fighter, and we both like to throw down.

From a rankings perspective, this fight makes almost no sense. Franklin is coming off a brutal loss to Le, who’s never really made it close to the top of the heap at Middleweight. On the other hand, Bisping is ranked in the top 5 and coming off a win over borderline top Alan Belcher. However, Franklin has always been a “company man” and the UFC may see fit to grant him this boon. Regardless of the opponent, Rich is hoping to return to the Octagon before the end of the year.

English: Picture of MMA fighter Rich Franklin ...

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

What retirement? Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin says despite his knockout loss to Cung Le, he isn’t planning on hanging up his 5-pounce gloves anytime soon, but business ventures are top priority at the moment.

Once the king of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight division, Rich Franklin, 38, isn’t quite ready to call it a mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Even though “Ace” acknowledges his “time is limited” in the grueling sport, he isn’t ready to throw in the towel on his 14-year career despite getting knocked out cold by Cung Le in round one UFC on Fuel TV 6 in Macao, China, back in Nov. 2012.

Franklin, however, does have other interests occupying his time at the moment, including an organic juice business he plans to open in Los Angeles, Calif., which will support his lifestyle once his paychecks from fighting stop rolling in.

Appearing on “The MMA Hour,” Franklin detailed his future fight plans:

“I’d have to check my contract. I have at least one more fight, possibly two more fights left on my contract. I always said I would definitely fulfill my contract, so, looking at that, I at least have that much. I’m not saying I’m only planning on fighting once or twice more, but, as soon as I get this stuff going on my end with this juice business and things are kind of moving in the direction that they should be moving, then I am going to be focused more on, instead of recreationally training, back on specific fight training. Then I’ll look at taking another fight at that point in time which could possibly be toward the end of the year.”

Before current 185-pound kingpin Anderson Silva rolled into the Octagon and took his title, “Ace” was sitting pretty at the top pf the middleweight mountain and enjoying his spot as one of the faces of the promotion. After dropping two championship fights to “The Spider,” Franklin has been unable to climb his way back into the title picture, losing high profile fights to Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin.

Moving up and down in weight class and partaking in catchweight bouts hasn’t helped his cause, either.

Nevertheless, as Franklin looks to secure his finances after MMA, he’s still planning on seeing his current contract through to the end … and perhaps even further. He also revealed that when he does return, Franklin will stick with the middleweight division, but is open to “super fights,” too.

And as the years creep up on the 37-fight veteran, he is determined to not hang around to the point that he’ll have to undergo testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) — something he’s kicked around before — to keep up with the younger generation of fighters.

For Franklin, “tarnishing” his image and dealing with all the backlash that comes with the controversial treatment just isn’t worth it.

Anyone care to throw out any potential opponents for Franklin once he returns to action?

Rich Franklin crumbles Chuck Liddell with a short right hand in UFC 115 main event (Pic). Is this the last image we see of the “Iceman” inside the Octagon? Perhaps more important, should it be?

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Thanks to CombatLifestyle.com for the pics. (Click the link to check out the entire gallery.)

For complete weigh in results for UFC 115: “Liddell vs. Franklin” click here. Pat Barry gets hyped after the jump.

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“I respect Rich and I think he’s a bigger challenger [than Tito] for sure, so that motivates you more to get into the gym and I’ve gotta be prepared. I’ve got to show up ready to go or I’ll pay for it. I don’t see it being a problem. I think [ring rust is] psychological for some guys. At the end of the fight, I’ll decide what I want to do next. I’m planning on making another run at the title — that’s what I want to do, so we’ll see what happens.”

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell talks to the media at yesterday’s conference call (via Sherdog.com) and expects opponent and ex-middleweight champion Rich Franklin to present a bigger challenge than original foe Tito Ortiz. “The Iceman” has some pretty lofty goals for the remainder of 2010, including another run at the 205-pound title. Will “Ace” make sure he never gets there? And if he does, what happens against guys like Rampage, Evans and Rua, who already own (T)KO losses over the TUF 11 coach?