Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will be looking to make it two in a row this February when he takes on fan-favorite brawler Forrest Griffin in a light heavyweight match at UFC 126.
Griffin and Franklin share a similar hard-nosed, face-first fight style and many are predicting that their fight will quickly turn into a trademark brawl. Speaking with Tapology.com recently, Franklin explained that he isn’t looking to make the fight a slobberknocker but doesn’t quite see things turning out any other way.
“I don’t ever hope for a brawl,” Franklin said. “If I could have an entire career of ten-second knockouts, I would be completely satisfied with that. Griffin is one of those guys—he’s kind of like me in that the more damage he takes the better he gets. This is probably going to be one of those fights and I think the fans know that. The worst part of this fight is that Forrest and I are well-liked, so it’s going to be difficult for the fans to watch us fight.”
“Ace” recently rebounded from a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort with his own knockout over Chuck Liddell and is interested in putting together a run for the title. However, he doesn’t see that extra motivation coming in to play against Griffin.
“I don’t think that will necessarily help me in this fight,” Franklin said. “I know that a win over Forrest will put me closer to a title shot, but I have to concentrate on what I can control, and that is in training and in my performance in the Octagon. For me, it’s all about beating Forrest because I like to win fights.”
Franklin and Griffin will square off on the main card of UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort this February 5th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. In other action on the card, middleweight champion Anderson Silva will defend his belt against fellow Brazilian striker Vitor Belfort and light heavyweight contenders Jon Jones and Ryan Bader will be squaring off to see who will continue their climb to the upper echelon of the 205-pound division.