Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will take on former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort at UFC 103 on September 19th. Franklin is hoping to win his second fight in a row at 195lbs. before making the permanent jump to 205lbs.
Now at the age of 35, Franklin knows that he’s towards the twilight of his career, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s fiending for another run at a UFC title.
Although not his primary goal, Franklin admitted that if he could earn himself a title shot that would be the ultimate way to retire.
“I think at this point in time I’m interested in putting on exciting fights for the fans,” said Frankin. “So if in the process of that, if I continue doing the things I need to do and winning fights, eventually I’ll make my way back to a title run.
“If I can get back to a title run that would be a great Cinderella story for me before I retire.”
The road to a title shot at light heavyweight is a difficult one for Franklin, who was always known as a large middleweight and normally cut around 20lbs. before the weigh-ins.
At light heavyweight, that picture changes. Franklin does not have the same size advantage that he’s been accustomed to at 185lbs.
“I’m not a big 205-pounder. A lot of these guys are taller than me, wider than me, longer than me. I’m going to deal with weight issues and strength issues probably,” the former champion explained.
With a win over Belfort, after having defeated former light heavyweight kingpin Wanderlei Silva, Franklin could put himself legitimately in the mix at 205lbs.