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The last time we saw Travis Lutter in action, he was doing something that no one else has been able to do since – give Anderson Silva some trouble during the course of a fight.
While hopes of an eventual rematch against Silva loom in the distance, Lutter’s first task on the road back after a layoff of over a year will be defeating former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin this Saturday night, not exactly the greatest welcome back gift in terms of an opponent.
Still, Lutter maintains his confidence that a win over Franklin will ultimately help give him exactly what he is looking for.
“Going out there and doing well against Anderson really gave me a lot of confidence,” Lutter said during a recent media conference call. “Franklin is a different kind of opponent style-wise but he’s still just as tough. If I beat someone of his skill set and rank, it’ll definitely help me on my way to get a shot at Anderson again.”
Lutter’s return to action won’t mark the first time that the South Dakota native has gone a year or two without fighting. After moving his way through the amateur ranks, Lutter was victorious in his first professional fight in 1998 and didn’t fight again until the spring of 2002. It’s a previous occurrence that Lutter feels will help him in shaking off any ring rust.
“I’m excited to get in there and test myself after such a long layoff,” Lutter said. “My neck feels fine now. I want to see where I’m at and where I stand in the UFC’s middleweight division. Then again this isn’t the first time that I’ve taken a break from fighting so it doesn’t really bother me that much.”
It’s rare to hear fighters giving their gameplans away weeks before the fight. Then again, Lutter’s strategy against Franklin seems pretty simple, just like Lutter himself. What Lutter does best is exactly what he intends to do against the former champion.
“My gameplan against Franklin is the same that I go into all of my fights with,” said Lutter. “I want to take Rich down and impose my will on him, ground and pound or look for a submission. I feel that if I can take him down that I’ll be able to control him and ultimately win. If I can’t execute my gameplan then it’s probably not going to be a good night for me.