(Whaddya say, Rich — once more for old times’ sake?)
The announcement that a rematch between Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin would headline UFC 103 (September 19th, Dallas) came as a bit of a surprise to us. And apparently, Franklin was just as surprised as we were. Here’s how he described the booking to MMA Junkie:
Nice, Dana. Luckily, Franklin is being a good sport and going along with it, even if he still doesn’t know which weight class the fight will be contested at. Said Franklin: "I’m assuming (it’s at) 205…I haven’t spoken to anyone about it, so anything I say is only speculation…Even if [Henderson] lost to me at 205, it shouldn’t affect his standing at 185 pounds. So I’d assume the UFC would do this fight at 205."
Still, as random as Ace/Hendo II might seem to the outside observer, Franklin explains that it’s really the only matchup that makes sense:
In other words, setting up Franklin/Henderson II is better than letting Swick/Kampmann headline the thing, or putting Franklin up against Luis Cane (who has specifically asked to fight Franklin) or Jon Jones, both of whom are not tied up with fights. No matter what happens, I don’t think UFC 103 will be putting a major dent into the PPV buys of Mayweather vs. Marquez — so why not give the fans a fight we haven’t seen before?