Friday, February 16, 2007

Franklin looks to right the ship at UFC 68

Rich Franklin’s last trip to the Octagon is anything but a fond memory.

Riding an eight-fight winning streak and a perfect UFC record, Franklin stepped into the cage to defend his championship for the third time. His opponent, Anderson Silva, was broadly accepted as his toughest opponent to date, one that would put Franklin over the top as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.

Unfortunately, the action didn’t unfold quite like he hoped.

“I cornered against Silva when he fought Jeremy Horn,” Franklin explained about his prefight mindset. “He was a lot smaller then. I was banking on my size and strength to carry me through the fight a little bit. I thought I would be able to push him around in the clinch. When he grabbed a hold of me and hit me with those first few knees, [his strength] surprised me.”

The end result surprised him, too.

Shortly after Silva landed that first big knee strike, Franklin found himself on the wrong end of a knockout – only the second loss of his 24-fight career and the first in more than three years.

But losing isn’t the end of the world for top mixed martial artists. Not a single reigning champion in the UFC boasts a spotless record. The sport is too competitive, forcing champions to face elite-level opposition fight after fight. As a result, titles change hands frequently.

(Read More)

No comments: