Monday, February 19, 2007

Franklin aching to return to ring

By Steve Sievert

Winning can wash away the taste of even the most bitter of defeats.

Rich Franklin is banking on it.

Since his dismantling at the hands and knees of Anderson Silva at UFC 64 in October, Franklin has been eager to return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship's eight-sided cage.

Just three weeks after surgery to repair a badly broken nose suffered in the fight against Silva, Franklin was discussing fight dates with the UFC and lobbying for a bout at UFC 67, which took place earlier this month. UFC officials balked, believing the former middleweight champion needed more time to recover.

"Rich is a competitor, but we always put the best interests of our fighters first," said UFC President Dana White. "Sometimes we need to step in and make a decision a fighter doesn't agree with. Having Rich fight in March gives him more time to heal and gives him a chance to fight in front of his hometown fans in Ohio."

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