Rich Franklin

Lindland Speaks Out About Possible UFC Return

In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, Matt Lindland was asked about his discussions with the UFC on possibly coming back and challenging Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight title.

What was his answer? I don’t think it’s something that Dana White will be happy to hear…

“There’s a lot on the horizon…I’m going to be the most active free agent out there. I’m not going to sign exclusive deals with any one organization, I just think that’s a bad move right now for any fighter that wants to move his career ahead.

I think you’ve got to have the flexibility to be able to fight in different organizations, and any organization that wants to lock you down for multiple agreements is only looking out for their best interests, and as a fighter you’ve got to look for your own best interests. You’ve got to be able to fight where the fights are. I’ll fight anybody and I’ll fight in any organization that doesn’t want to force somebody to sign long-term contracts.

Yes, we did talk to the UFC about the possibility of me fighting for them as well, and right now it’s not looking like that’s going to come to fruition, but it’s something that I’m definitely interested in exploring in the future months, or maybe even next year, who knows?”

With all of the other middleweight contenders in the UFC booked for fights later this year already, does this mean that Mike Swick is the number one contender?

While browsing the web, I came across an interesting post on a message board. The user was saying that the UFC is wrong in trying to bring in Lindland and that they are continuing to not go after foreign talent. He also said that they were trying to get rid of Silva.

I don’t think that’s the case…

If you haven’t noticed, the amount of foreign talent in the UFC is more than ever before. Granted it isn’t big name international talent like Pride and other organizations sport, it’s foreign guys nonetheless. Bottom line, why don’t they go after the big guys?

Has it occurred to anyone that they might want to develop their own guys inside their own organization? It’s exactly what Pride has done with Fedor, Wanderlei, Barnett, Shogun - They will forever be aligned with the company, bringing the organization a huge amount of recognition for years to come.

In my opinion, the UFC is making a good decision in the long run by signing rising, younger stars and developing them rather than going out and signing every big-name free agent out there.

As for the UFC talking with Lindland about returning - First off they should have never let him go in the first place. He was the number one contender for the title and they let him slip away by refusing to talk about a new contract - that’s why Nate Quarry fought Rich Franklin at UFC 56 - Lindland was supposed to be Franklin’s opponent, not Quarry who was probably the last person who deserved a title shot at that point.

The UFC isn’t trying to get rid of Silva, they are just trying to not make the same mistake twice. Swick isn’t ready for Silva, Dana already knows that, that’s why he wants him to fight at least one more time before he gets a title shot.

However with Lindland currently out of the picture, it seems like Silva’s next fight might be against just another Quarry…

Liddell Speaks on Franklin and Ortiz

UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell recently spoke with Jose Rodriguez from the Calgary Sun on Tito Ortiz and a possible fight with Rich “Ace” Franklin.

When speaking on Franklin, Liddell said he’d be willing to fight him but Rich would have to move up to 205 where he has fought in the past.

“I’ll fight Rich. I think it would be more exciting than me fighting Tito,” he said in reference to his upcoming title defence against challenger Tito Ortiz.

Liddell says there’s no way he’ll cut down to 185 lbs. but Franklin has fought at 205 lbs. in the past. And if that doesn’t work, Liddell says he’s willing to meet him halfway — at 195 lbs.

“I like Rich, he’s a nice guy and I don’t wish it upon him, but I’ll fight him anytime he wants,” says Liddell

Liddell kept things short when speaking about Ortiz.

“It’ll be fun beating him up,” says Liddell.

“He gets mad at his friends that are still friends of mine,” says Liddell. “He’s still mad I beat him up.”

Two New Champions Crowned

What a night! When sitting here and looking back on tonight’s event I am lost for words.

The evenings event was kicked off with a fight between lightweight contender Spencer Fisher and 18-year old Dan Lauzon. Lauzon worked well early on but Fisher overcame his initial assault and returned fire with some good punches and knees. Fisher was eventually able to rock Lauzon and the fight was called at 4:38 of the first round.

Next up was a battle between the big men. The question coming into this fight was would Carmello Marrero be able to take Kongo down. Marrero showed he could do just that as he took Kongo down at will throughout the whole fight and neutralized anything Kongo had to offer. Kongo didn’t do much throughout the first two rounds but he look a little better in the third. In the end though that wasn’t enough and the fight was scored a split decision win for UFC newcomer Carmello Marrero.

After a tribute to UFC legend Ken Shamrock, Jon Fitch and Kuniyoshi Hironaka took to the octagon. Hironaka looked excellent early in the first as he caught Fitch in a triangle which he worked for the majority of the first. Fitch eventually broke free and he ended the first on a high note as he took Hironaka’s back and worked for a submission.

The second and thirds were a lot alike. Fitch came out hard each round and imposed his will on the Japanese fighter working some vicious ground and pound along with some good stand-up. At one point in the second Fitch took a shot to the face which caused he nose to bleed but it had little effect and the outcome was definitive as Fitch was declared the winner by unanimous decision.

To me Fitch showed a lot tonight. He showed he can overcome adversity and that he is touch as hell. Fitch got caught in a submission early but he weathered the storm and from that point on he controlled the fight with vicious ground and pound and striking.

Next up was the co-main event of the evening for the UFC lightweight title. Sean Sherk proved that the lightweight division is the proper place for him.

Sherk came out early and secured a strong takedown and that set the tone for the fight. Sherk worked excellent ground and pound throughout the whole fight and he neutralized anything Florian had to offer except for the little roadblock he ran into in the second round.

While working from the top, Sherk was firing off his shots and Florian threw an elbow from the bottom. The shot landed and opened up a big cut on the forehead of Sean Sherk. The cut had to be checked but the fight was allowed to continue. Blood poured out of the cut but Sherk jumped the hurdle and continued to pound Florian for the remaining three rounds.

Sherk was able to neutralize any offense Florian had to offer by taking him to the canvas time after time. Late in the final round, Sherk picked Florian up and slammed him to the canvas sending one final message to the crowd. In the end Sean Sherk won by unanimous decision and was crowned the new UFC lightweight champion.

Next up was the fight everyone had been waiting for, the battle for the UFC middleweight title between Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva. As the fighters made their ways to the octagon you could sense the difference in attitudes. Silva looked very calm, composed and ready while Franklin on the other hand came out looking pissed and uptight.

Anderson Silva dominated Rich Franklin from start to finish as he utilized a devastating Thai clinch. In one exchange Franklin was able to land a couple of shots but that was the beginning of the end. Silva worked hard knees to the body and head before momentarily releasing his grip. When he grabbed back on he fired off a knee that landed square to the face and broke Franklin’s nose and sent him crumbling to the canvas.

Afterwards Silva was very emotional as he was crowned the new UFC middleweight champion of the world. Franklin was very humble and he assured fans that he’d work his way back up the ranks.

In other action, Clay Guida put on a ground and pound clinch and he went to work on Justin James choked him out late in the second round after working some excellent ground and pound.

Yushin Okami moved one step closer to being middleweight contender as he knocked out ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ alumnus Kalib Starnes late in the third round.

Kurt Pellegrino set himself straight tonight after losing in his UFC debut as he choked out Junior Assuncao early in the first round.

From the Mouth of Dana White

Leading up to UFC 63 this week, UFC President Dana White has to be very vocal. However, he decided to comment on a few of the rumors that have been floating around as of late, things that he really didn’t even have to address.

When it comes to the stories out there that say many big-name UFC fighters are considering leaving the company because of horrible pay, what does White have to say?

“Believe me when I tell you, brother, people aren’t leaving me,” Dana White said in an interview Tuesday.

While declining to detail UFC’s finances, he said his athletes were happy with their take. “We’re a private company and our fighters make a lot of money, a lot of money,” he added.

“None of us are arguing, none of us are bitching and none of us are fighting. We get along with all of our fighters very well. They feel like they’re part of a very happy family. Let me tell you what, I can sleep at night. I’m not in this for the money and I never was.

“We’re a real business. We’ve got this thing rolling and we’re thrilled, thrilled that these guys are able to make what they’re making.”

Dana happened to use UFC Middleweight Champion as an example of this:

White cited middleweight champion Rich Franklin, a native of Cincinnati whose UFC deal calls for a basic fee of $18,000 per fight with another $18,000 for each win.

“Him and his wife just bought 15 acres of land and a big fat house that they just moved into,” White said.

White also decided to comment on Jeremy Lappen, CEO of the WFA, and the real reason as to why he was ejected from UFC 61.

White also denied being responsible for having the head of the rival World Fighting Alliance ejected from the Mandalay Bay at UFC 61: Bitter Rivals. Jeremy Lappen was asked to leave by Mandalay Bay officials, White said, because he had people distributing flyers in the casino for a WFA event.

The UFC president said he “embraced” competition from rival organizations.

“These guys create the talent that’s going to end up in my show some day. I’ve got no problem with these guys.”

“I’ve made more millionaires in this business than anybody else has,” White added.

Those are pretty brash comments by Dana right there. However with the UFC on top of the MMA world right now, I’d say that he can make those remarks whenever he pleases…

UFC 64: Unstoppable

It’s official folks, UFC 64: Unstoppable will feature a battle between UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and the very talented Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Also on the card will be a lightweight title fight between Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk and Kenny Florian.

Phil Baroni’s Future

Phil Baroni recently sat down with MMA Weekly and cleared up a few rumors that have been running rampant for about a month now as well as giving some hints as to what he will be up to in the near future.

Baroni stated that he doesn’t believe he will be fighting in the UFC this fall. He did say that if he does return, he would love to fight Rich Franklin.

“Of course I’d like to fight [Rich] Franklin,” said Baroni. “He is the champ. To be the best, you have to beat the best. I know I match up real good with him, and I know if we fought, I would knock him out. The division is still real tough. They have a good group of middleweights right now over there.”

So what does Baroni have lined up that might actually happen? While he still has one fight left on his PRIDE contract, Baroni believes that he would be able to fight with another organization if he requested.

“Pride is good at letting their fighters fight in other organizations,” said Baroni. “Cage Rage is a great promotion, the biggest in England. I was supposed to fight there two times now, and it didn’t work out. I’m sure I’ll fight in Cage Rage in the near future.”

But here’s the best part, a possible bout between Baroni and Frank Shamrock?

“The guys at Strikeforce are hard at work trying to make it happen,” said Baroni about his proposed fight with Shamrock.

A fight between the two would be an absolute slugfest. Even though Baroni’s plans are different than what we originally thought, it’s going to be fun to see where the New York Bad Ass ends up in the coming months.

Dana White and Rich Franklin on The O’Reilly Factor

On Wensday UFC President Dana White and UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin were guests on “The O’Reilly Factor” with Bill O’Reilly.

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