The rumor began earlier last week and now it’s official, Rich Franklin is moving back up to the weight class that he started in when he made his UFC debut. His return to the Light Heavyweight division will take place at UFC 88 against a very tough Matt Hamill. MMARated confirmed the news earlier today after speaking to sources close to the situation.
Something interesting to note is that Anderson Silva is also moving up to 205-lbs for his fight against James Irvin. Of course how long his stay will be would depend on how good he looks against Irvin on July 19th.
Franklin had originally moved down to the Middleweight division because he felt that by cutting weight and getting it back before fight time would give him a power advantage, which it did. Unfortunately Anderson Silva was a much stronger competitor with better technique, which put Franklin in a quandary. Even if he could string together a few wins at Middleweight, could he really compete with Silva? Probably not, and that’s why the move up.
Hamill’s wrestling and strength are arguably the best in the Light Heavyweight divison and will pose a very tough test, providing a good measuring stick for where Franklin stands in the weight class.