By: Farah Hannoun |
November 15, 2019 12: 30 pm
UFC Hall of Famer and former middleweight champion Rich Franklin has fought a who’s-who in MMA.
But despite being satisfied with his star-studded resume, Franklin (29-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) said if there were two fighters he could have competed against, it would be fellow former UFC 185-pound champ Michael Bisping and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Franklin, who now works as an executive with ONE Championship, was scheduled to fight at UFC 133 in 2011, but Nogueira was forced off the card due to injury and the fight was scrapped.
“There’s some fun people – there’s some people that would have been a fun matchup, for sure,” Franklin told MMA Junkie. “I think Bisping and I would put on a really entertaining match. There was talk about that for some time. I was, at one point in time, matched up with Nogueira and he got injured. I think that would have been a fun fight to watch, as well.”
But few have accumulated the fight resume of Franklin, who’s been in there with the likes former UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva, former UFC light heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort and an array of other legends and champions.
“When you look at my career, from the moment I stepped into the big stage there in the UFC, my first match in the UFC was Evan Tanner,” Franklin said. “He was 8-1 at the time and his only loss was to Tito Ortiz. So from the moment I stepped into the big league, I was really swimming with the sharks.”
Franklin was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this past July. Throughout his UFC career, only two of his fights weren’t part of pay-per-view events.
“After I won the title, from that moment on, this sport in particular, you don’t get any tomato cans,” Franklin said. “Everybody that you’re matched up against in mixed martial arts is the No. 1 contender every single time. And even after I lost my title, I still maintained main event status all the way till the end of my career. I was always fighting either top-five guys or former champions from the UFC or some other organization. My entire career was swimming with the sharks.”