Once upon a time, many years ago, the UFC Middleweight title belonged to Rich Franklin. He had defended the belt he won from Evan Tanner at UFC 153 several times before running into a skinny Brazilian named Anderson Silva at UFC 64. Now, nearly 100 UFC’s later, Silva still holds the belt, and Franklin is nearing the end of his career and pondering one last run at relevancy. Franklin is being talked about as a potential opponent for perennial contender Michael Bisping, who is possibly on his last run for the title as well.
Interested in betting on any of the upcoming UFC cards? Check back frequently for the latest lines on the opening round and beyond as BETDSI takes you to the finals!!! Sign up now for an account!Franklin is coming off a KO loss in his last outing, against Cung Le, so he must realize he is far from a title shot, if that is what he is still thinking. Bisping makes sense as an opponent if Franklin really wants to go for UFC gold one last time, since he is a well ranked competitor. Bisping does not make sense as an opponent for a retiring Franklin, who has been facing opponents past their prime in recent outings.
Bisping at 34, is still in his prime and has to gather himself for one last title run. The fact is that Bisping has slipped, going 2-2 in his last four outings, so he must continue to win.
Skillwise, look for the fight to remain standing, as Franklin has always been a banger. Bisping will be condemned to a stand up fight because he does not have the wrestling to get Franklin down and Franklin will not want to ground fight.
Watching Franklin fight Cung Le, Franklin still presents basically the same skill package he had when he was practically pistol whipped by Silva a couple of times. Bisping is a well balanced fighter who has worked on his standup. Both men have fallen short against better stand up fighters, but both either man could win a match between them standing.
I look for this to be a close fight when the lines come out at the books, with Bisping possibly coming in a slight favorite. One thing is almost a certainty, and that is that if Franklin loses, this will likely be the last time we see ‘Ace’ in the octagon.