The 411 MMA Top 10 06.29.12: Top 10 Rich Franklin Fights
Posted by Alex Rella on 06.29.2012
From his battle with Chuck Liddell at UFC 115 and his bout with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99 to his match with Evan Tanner at UFC 53 and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 Rich Franklin fights of all time!
Rich Franklin's Top Ten Fights
I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This was a busy week with a variety of events going on and I hope everyone kept up with it all. This week we'll be looking at Rich Franklin's top ten fights and yes Robert Winfree, he has had ten fights worth talking about. But first,
Thoughts from last week and other random stuff:
• It seemed like the only disagreement last week was that Machida should be ranked higher than Belfort. It is a close one but I give the edge to Belfort. Machida could overtake Belfort if he can get his career back on track.
• Thank you to those who suggested Franklin fights to be on the list this week. That's why I tell you guys what I'm doing a week in advance.
Back to this week's list
So Rich Franklin (29-6) is the former UFC middleweight champion and has had a great career. Franklin has defeated hall of famers, former champions, and has only lost to some of the best ever. I feel like Franklin is one of the more underrated guys of his generation as he did a lot for the UFC but wasn't as good as the other champions at the time. Franklin wants to make another run at the title before he retires and at first thought it seems ridiculous but it really isn't. Depending on what happens with the next title fight, the division could be open for the taking. I'd like to see Franklin take on the winner of Munoz vs Weidman. What do you guys think should be his next fight?
So this week's list will be Franklin's personal best fights. The fights vs Anderson Silva are usually ranked pretty high but that's just cause Silva beat the crap out of Franklin, so those fights won't be on here. The list will be based on the significance of the fight and the fight itself.
• Dan Henderson UFC 93- A good fight but a hard split decision loss that cost Franklin his chance to coach TUF again.
• Jason Macdonald UFC 68- Franklin's first fight after losing the title and he got back on track nicely with the TKO.
10: Nate Quarry UFC 56
Nate Quarry competed in the first season of TUF and started his UFC career nicely with three straight wins that earned him a title shot. This was Franklin's first title defense and there was some excitement going to the fight as he was a new champ and Quarry was the first fighter that competed on TUF to earn a title shot. Franklin would look awesome as he knocked out Quarry with one punch in the first.
9: Yushin Okami UFC 72
This fight headlined UFC 72 and decided who would fight Anderson Silva for the title. Okami was on a six fight win streak and Franklin was looking to get his rematch after Silva beat him for the title at UFC 64. This was a good fight for Franklin as he just picked Okami apart standing up for almost the entire fight. Okami finally showed life in the third round with some submission attempts but Franklin was able to escape and finished the round on top.
8: Matt Hamill UFC 88
This was Franklin's first fight at light heavyweight in about three years and he delivered. Franklin just cut Hamill down with some brutal kicks throughout the entire fight. Hamill tried to stand up with Franklin for the most of the fight as his couple of takedown attempts were nicely defended by Franklin. Franklin had a nasty cut going into the third round but the ref stopped the fight after an awesome liver kick. The kick alone is worth finding this fight if you haven't already seen it.
7: Evan Tanner UFC 42
Franklin's UFC debut was a good one. Franklin came into the UFC at 12-0 and Tanner was on a four fight win streak since unsuccessfully challenging Tito Ortiz for the title. Their first fight was at light heavyweight and Franklin would win the fight in the first round. Franklin had the better striking ability as he had some good head kicks that set up the TKO from punches.
6: Ken Shamrock
This was the fight that made Franklin a star. This was the main event on that historic and stacked card. Franklin was 3-0 in the UFC and Shamrock was still highly respected and a top draw at the time. The fight quickly went to the ground where Shamrock put Franklin in a nasty heel hook. Franklin was able to escape and pull out a TKO victory about a minute later. The heel hook was so bad that it kept Franklin in crutches for over a week afterwards and Franklin was also the first person to knock out Shamrock at the time. This win would earn Franklin a shot at the middleweight title.
5: Wanderlei Silva UFC 99
This was surprisingly Franklin's first fight of the night award. Their first fight was also at catchweight but this time at 195 lbs. Both guys were coming off losses, Silva got knocked out by Rampage at UFC 92 and Franklin lost a controversial split decision to Dan Henderson at UFC 93. The first minute of the fight was the only dull part of the entire fight as both guys were just feeling each other out but after that it was a great hard hitting fight. Wanderlei almost put Franklin away in the second round but Franklin was able to come back in the round and knocked Silva down three times with punches and eventually won the unanimous decision victory.
4: David Loiseau UFC 58
This was Franklin's second title defense and it went the full five rounds. This fight showed Franklin's diverse skill set as he was dominant in every aspect of the fight. Franklin broke his left hand in the second round and still continued to out strike Loiseau for the entire fight. The third round was probably the most exciting round. The ref paused the fight for the doctor to check Loiseau's eye and Loiseau came out with some big strikes but it wasn't enough as Franklin was able to scramble out of the way. The other big highlights of the fight were Franklin suplexing Loiseau in the fourth and fifth rounds. The fight would be scored a unanimous decision for Franklin in which Franklin set the record for most significant strikes in a middleweight title fight.
3: Wanderlei Silva UFC 147
I was originally disappointed by this fight when it was first announced because I thought Franklin vs Cung Le would have been a cool fight and it took away from the UFC 148 card, but this fight was awesome. I'm sure most of you have either read about or seen the fight, if not go read Robert Winfree's coverage of the event as he did a nice job. But a quick synopsis is that Silva was unsuccessful to put away Franklin early on and Franklin's toughness and intelligent fighting came out on top. Silva beat the crap out of Ace in the second round but the bell saved him. Franklin said he didn't remember the next two rounds and Silva was pretty gassed for them too. Franklin was the aggressor for most of the fight with some great foot work and good striking. And the fight ended with an exciting fifth round and the bell went off as both guys were throwing hard shots as each other.
2: Evan Tanner UFC 53
The rematch would come two years later and would be a far better fight. Tanner would drop down to 185 after their first encounter and would go on a four fight win streak which included winning the middleweight championship. Tanner would knock Franklin down in the first and win the round but Franklin got it together after that. Tanner's face was just a mess at the end of this fight. It's always a little anticlimactic when any fight ends due to a cut, especially title ones but Tanner wasn't coming back anyway.
1: Chuck Liddell UFC 115
Yea I'm picking Chuck Lidell's last fight. Franklin stepped in to replace Tito Ortiz to fight the quickly aging Liddell. Now some will argue that this wasn't a big win as Liddell got knocked out in his two previous fights but Liddell looked better in this fight than he had in years. Liddell was bringing the heat immediately and hit Franklin with some brutal kicks, one of which broke Franklin's arm. Liddell had Franklin stunned at the end of the first round and had him up against the cage when Franklin threw a counter right hand that knocked Liddell at 4:55.
• So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
• As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
• Right now I'm leaning towards doing the top Liddell fights for next week but I'm still undecided.