Thursday, March 8, 2007

Heirs to the throne

Does Franklin or Marquardt get the next title shot?

Jason MacDonald said that he believes Rich Franklin will now be bumped to the head of the line as the No. 1 contender to middleweight champ Anderson Silva, according to a report by the Canadian Press.

MacDonald, who was defeated by Rich Franklin at UFC 68 last Saturday, told Neil Davidson that the spotlight being placed upon Silva and Franklin following the ex-champ's win last Saturday pointed to such a fight taking place in the near future.

Weeks ago, UFC President Dana White stated that Nate Marquardt, fresh off a dominant victory over Dean Lister, "likely" would get a title shot, but such a match has never officially been announced. Before UFC 68, White told media members that the MacDonald-Franklin winner would be in line for a title shot but not did not say whether they would be moved ahead of Marquardt.

With Franklin's win and the interplay between the ex-champ and current titleholder, it's possible that UFC strikes with the rematch before giving Marquardt his chance. Of course, Franklin also mentioned in post-fight interviews that he was told a rematch may take place in his hometown of Cincinnati. If that is the working plan, the UFC might want to wait longer than three months before returning to Ohio which would point to a title fight further down the line. If that is the case, Franklin would have enough time to schedule a fight in the interim, thereby endangering his No. 1 contender status.

MacDonald, however, is still focusing on the future.

The UFC 185-pounder told the Canadian Press that he believes his next fight will come against Martin Kampmann, who submitted Drew McFedries with a side choke on the same night MacDonald lost.

"I feel like I'd beat him and I'll be right back on track," MacDonald said.

He also mentioned that as Franklin had him mounted in the closing moments of the second round, he took a punch that him in the right eye, robbing him of vision in the eye. Though its back now, doctors told him the punch may have resulted in a broken blood vessel that caused his temporary vision loss.

He confirmed that it was his trainers that decided to call an end to the match while he was in the corner after the second round, and that he took seven stitches to close a cut.


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