Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin says that his “rumored” fight against Travis Lutter at UFC 82 is not official, refuting various reports that were made earlier this week.
Franklin addressed the rumors in a statement on his official website earlier today:
I am told there are rumors of me fighting multiple people in March. I have not signed for a fight in March. I don’t believe that I am allowed to fight more than once in a night. I hope this clears up any confusion. I have not signed to fight anyone in March, or any other month.
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin will return to action in March when he takes on Travis Lutter at UFC 82.
The news comes from a report by MMA Mania via Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer.
Franklin is coming off of his second straight loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 77 in October. Franklin is currently filming the film “Weapon” alongside former Saved by the Bell star Tiffani Thiessen. He will be playing a kidnapped genetically-engineered soldier.
Lutter has not fought since putting on an impressive showing in a loss to Silva as well at UFC 67 in February. The fight would have been for the UFC middleweight title but Lutter failed to make weight. Lutter was slated to take on Ryan Jensen at UFC 74 but was forced to pull out of the bout after suffering a neck injury during training.
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin has been offered a fight against TUF 4 winner Travis Lutter at UFC 82 in March according to a report from MMA Junkie.
The news comes from J.T. Stewart who currently serves as Franklin’s business manager.
According to Stewart, Franklin has been offered a fight against Lutter but has not yet accepted it:
”(Rich) has been asked about fighting Travis Lutter in March,” said J.T. Stewart, Franklin’s business manager at American Fighter Management. “The fight has been proposed, and we’re assessing it.“
Stewart went on to say that Franklin may not take the fight due to a busy schedule and lack of training. Stewart also revealed that Franklin had signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC prior to his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 77 in October. The new deal will apparently go into effect for Franklin’s next bout.
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin will star as a genetically-engineered soldier alongside former Saved by the Bell star Tiffani Thiessen in “Weapon”:
Peach Arch Entertainment Group Inc. today announced the start of principal photography on the action film “Weapon,” which stars former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin opposite Bruce Greenwood and Tiffani Thiessen, she of “Saved by the Bell” fame. Peach Arch will distribute the picture in Canada and will also act as a worldwide sales agent.
In “Weapon,” a lonely United States Border Patrol agent (Thiessen) apprehends a genetically engineered super soldier (Franklin) and experiences the ride of her life when his creator (Greenwood) hunts them down.
The movie will be distributed in Canada only and is currently filming in Hamilton, Ontario.
The Ohio Athletic Commission has released the official list of medical suspensions stemming from UFC 77: Hostile Territory.
Kalib Starnes, Eric Schafer, and Rich Franklin have all been medically suspended for 30 days because of precautionary reasons. Franklin’s medical suspension will most likely become longer because of the surgery he underwent to correct a second straight broken nose. I’m sure Starnes will need some extra time because of his cut as well.
Forrest Petz has been medically suspended for 60 days and will need clearance from a doctor before he is permitted to fight again. There was is no indictation behind the reasoning for Petz having to be medically cleared.
The Ohio Athletic Commission has released the official fighter salaries for UFC 77: Hostile Territory:
Tim Sylvia: $200,000
Anderson Silva: $120,000
Brandon Vera: $100,000
Rich Franklin: $45,000
Stephan Bonnar: $44,000
Yushin Okami: $24,000
Alan Belcher: $22,000
Josh Burkman: $20,000
Jason MacDonald: $17,000
Demian Maia: $10,000
Jason Black: $8,000
Jorge Gurgel: $7,000
Kalib Starnes $7,000
Eric Schafer: $6,000
Alvin Robinson: $6,000
Forrest Petz: $6,000
Matt Grice: $6,000
Ryan Jensen: $4,000
Total Payroll: $652,000
News and Notes
- Strikeforce announced the four participants for their first ever one-night tournament set to take place at their next event on November 16th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
The four middleweights that will participate are Falaniko Vitale, Trevor Prangley, Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, two-minute rounds. If a draw is declared following the second round of a fight, an overtime round will be added to the bout to determine a victor. The winner of the tournament may earn the opportunity to face Frank Shamrock in the near future.
- Rich Franklin’s publicity manager has stated that reports about a possible early retirement for Franklin are not true:
“Rich still has a lot left to accomplish in this sport,” said J.T. Stewart, Franklin’s publicity manager. “It’s too early for him to even consider retirement at this point.”
- Paul Buentello will face Alistair Overeem or the vacant Strikeforce Heavyweight Title on November 16th as well.
- Dave Meltzer has another description of Don Frye’s apparent street fight with the bodyguard of Leland Chapman:
The fight with Don Frye and “Sonny,” who was Leland Chapman’s bodyguard, started when promoter Chris Salsbury told Scott Steiner that MMA promoter Phil Flathres would be in charge of paying the wrestlers. The wrestlers came to Flathers for their money. Somehow the MMA people and wrestling people were played against each other and tension developed. “Sonny” started making remarks about pro wrestling, which saw an MMA fighter/pro wrestler, Frye, telling him to shut up. Frye had been drinking and was loaded. It wound up with them going outside.
“Sonny” allegedly sucker punched Frye, bloodying him up. Frye then allegedly single legged Sonny and was punching him hard from the mount when it was pulled apart. The second confrontation in the parking lot saw Sonny knock down Frye and Sonny and Leland Chapman ran off as Scott Norton came and Frye got up. It should be noted that we’ve gotten many different versions and all are slightly different but this seems to be the best detailed version.
- Meltzer is also reporting that a fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva has not yet been signed, thus why there was no announcement of it on Saturday night.
As you probably already heard, the UFC has officially announced the signing of former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar is expected to make his UFC debut in February.
Ricardo Almedia’s signing with the UFC has also been made official by the company.
No formal announcement of Wanderlei Silva’s next opponent was made, despite claims that Silva was set to do so himself.
MMA Junkie ran into Silva at the event and asked him about the rumored matchup:
MMA Junkie bumped into the former PRIDE champion in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday, and the fighter couldn’t help smile when we asked him about a rumored fight with Liddell.
“Dec. 29 I go into the ring and finally beat (Liddell),” Silva said. “Unless Chuck (is) scared, we fight then.“
Tim Sylvia challenged fellow heavyweight Cheick Kongo after his victory over Brandon Vera:
“We don’t know what’s going on with Randy [Couture] right now,” Sylvia said. “He’s a little bit in limbo. I don’t want to sit my ass down and wait for him, so I think Cheick and I should fight.”
However White has stated that Sylvia will most likely fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the UFC Heavyweight Title early next year.
UFC President Dana White announced the winners of the usual performance bonuses at the post-fight press conference:
Knockout of the night - Anderson Silva
Submission of the night - Demian Maia
Fight of the night - Jason Black vs Matt Grice
Each fighter will receive a bonus of $40,000, the highest that has ever been given out.
White also announced that UFC 77 broke the official gate record at the U.S. Bank Arena, bringing in a total of $2.54 million.
Randy Couture will hold a public press conference this coming Thursday to discuss his depature from the UFC.
White mentioned that the UFC would return to Ohio next March. He also said that Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta are all being considered to host shows next year.
Alex Marvez of FOX Sports is reporting that Franklin is expected to consider retirement.
Yushin Okami’s contract with the UFC apparently expired after last night’s fight with Jason MacDonald.
When asked about a future opponent for Silva, White threw Thales Leites, Ricardo Almeida, and David Terrell out there as possibilities.
MMA on Tap writers Scott White and John Chandler break down UFC 77: Hostile Territory fight-by-fight in the debut of the site’s newest column.
UFC 77 features a total of nine fights including the highly anticipated rematch between Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin for the UFC Middleweight Title as well as a battle between heavyweight contenders Tim Sylvia and Brandon Vera.
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva discusses how he took advantage of Rich Franklin’s mistakes in their last fight and how he intends to beat Franklin for the second straight time this weekend.