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Tag: Rich Franklin

On This Day in MMA History: The New Old Vitor Belfort TKO’s Rich Franklin at UFC 103

If not for the PED controversies that have plagued him since 2006, Vitor Belfort would be one of the most inspirational figures in MMA history. We’re talking about a fighter who picked himself up after each high-profile defeat and kept clawing his way forward, who started his career as a young destroyer at heavyweight, then reinvented himself as a light-heavyweight when that didn’t work out, then reinvented himself as a middleweight when that didn’t work out, then floated anywhere between 185 and 205 pounds depending on what the moment called for.

This December, after more than 18 years in the sport (!), the 37-year-old Belfort will challenge Chris Weidman in a middleweight title fight at UFC 181. The fight represents yet another career peak for Belfort, and will define his third stint in the UFC, which began five years ago today — September 19th, 2009 — when Belfort TKO’d Rich Franklin at UFC 103.

Heading into the fight, Belfort was enjoying the kind of momentum that had been rare in his career. Following his decision loss to Dan Henderson (and positive steroid test) at PRIDE 32, Belfort won a pair of fights under the Cage Rage banner — becoming the promotion’s light-heavyweight champion in the process — then dropped to middleweight and brutally KO’d Terry Martin and Matt Lindland in Affliction. Shortly after Affliction’s ugly demise, the UFC re-signed Belfort and booked him for a 195-pound catchweight fight against former middleweight champ Rich Franklin, who had gone back up to compete at light-heavyweight and 195 lbs. (aka “Franklinweight”) since his second loss to Anderson Silva. Fun fact from the UFC 103 wiki page:

It was announced on July 20, 2009 that Rich Franklin would headline UFC 103 against Dan Henderson. It was then announced on July 31, 2009 that fans were not happy with the announced headliner of Henderson-Franklin 2 so they changed the main event to feature Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort. “Fans didn’t like it, so we changed it,” White said.

I only vaguely remember this moment in UFC history where fan sentiment could actually influence which fights get made. Now, we pretty much have to eat what they give us.

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The 21 Best Accessories in MMA History


(Alistair Overeem wielding Mjolnir / Photo via Getty)

Sometimes fans need more to remember a fighter by than just a performance or a gimmick. They need an accessory to associate that fighter with–and the very best fighters understand this and know how to accessorize.

We brainstormed at Castle CagePotato as to what accessory was the greatest of all time. After several thought-sessions ended in magic ice cream binges and Martin Luther cosplay sessions, we decided to just list off all the best ones rather than just decide which one among them was the best:

1. Fedor Emelianenko’s sweater.

2. Donald Cerrone‘s cowboy hat.

3. Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s Dagestani hat.

4. David Rickels’ caveman club and dinosaur.

Get the rest after the jump!

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Rich Franklin Named One FC Vice President, Still Planning for “Sensible” UFC Retirement Fight


(Now that I think about it, Rich always was something of a forward thinker when it came to MMA.)

If Rich Franklin is “a loser” by his own admission, I’d sure like to know who he considers a winner (besides Anderson Silva, obviously). The former middleweight champion has been killing it outside of the octagon lately, opening his own successful, high-end juice business and now, accepting a role as the Vice President of burgeoning Asian MMA promotion, One FC. Not bad for a guy who once *insert hackneyed Ace Ventura reference here*

While rumors of Franklin’s potential gig started floating around more than a month ago, it wasn’t until this morning that Cheryl Tay of Yahoo Sports broke the official news. ONE FC chief executive officer Victor Cui was more than elated when discussing the role of his promotion’s latest acquirement:

Rich Franklin is another perfect example – he is an icon in this industry. Everybody loves him, he is well-respected, and he will a fantastic addition to the team in terms of experience and helping the sport grow in Asia from ground up awareness.

We will continue to define his role but to me now what’s most important is finding the best people. I am aggressively hiring in all positions and looking to add another 200 staff in the near future as we grow. At the moment, we are a young company still and Rich will do a lot of different things for us, from talent management to fighter recruitment and giving seminars.

Franklin was similarly excited by the prospect of working for Asia’s fastest-developing MMA promotion, telling Yahoo that “MMA in Asia right now is at the tip of the iceberg.”

“If you were to rewind the clock,” said Franklin, “it’s like MMA in the States back in 2003. I think MMA is going to take off like wildfire here in Asia and I will be part of it.”

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UFC Booking Alert: Michael Bisping to Face Cung Le in August, Hector Lombard vs. Dong Hyun Kim Booked as Well


(We don’t regret choosing this image. / Photo via Getty)

Michael Bisping has been booked to fight Cung Le on August 23rd, in the main event of a Fight Night card that takes place at the Cotai Arena in Macau. This booking was announced at the UFC 173 post-fight presser.

Le won his last match with a sudden, dramatic KO victory over Rich Franklin. Despite such a win, the 42-year-old isn’t exactly a threat to Bisping, who’s coming off a disappointing decision loss to Tim Kennedy. Looks like the UFC wants its British meal ticket back in the win column as soon as possible.

Get the details on the co-main event, and where the fight card will air after the jump.

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“How to Be a Loser”: Rich Franklin Discusses the Lessons of Defeat at TEDxUChicago


(Props: TEDx Talks via MMAJunkie)

“I believe that there’s a potential loser in each and every one of you.”

It’s not exactly the kind of line you’d expect to hear during one of those usually uplifting TED speeches — but learning how to react to defeat and learn from it is one of the greatest lessons that former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin can give us. In this must-see monologue from last month’s TEDxUChicago, Franklin discusses his crushing first loss to Anderson Silva, why his win over Travis Lutter remains his favorite fight, and what it means to be an “effective loser” and to “lose with the effort of a champion.” Check it out…

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Random News Alert: Rich Franklin In Talks to Become ONE FC Vice President


(We probably could’ve used a better picture. / Photo via Getty)

Here’s the latest in headlines you’d never expect: Former UFC champ Rich Franklin is apparently in talks with ONE FC to become its vice president. Rich Franklin reported the news this morning on his Facebook page, saying the following:

I have been in talks with ONE FC about taking a job with them. They offered me a position as VP. I will be heading to ONE FC headquarters in the next few weeks to work out the details. I met with Dana and Lorenzo at the end of last year and they gave me their blessing. I will keep you posted.

As MMA Junkie reported, Franklin still has a fight on his UFC contract and stated that he wanted to fulfill his obligations. Taking a desk job with another MMA promotion almost definitely means that his fighting days are done.

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Congratulations, Cain Velasquez, You’ve Ruined the Heavyweight Division!


(Cain Velasquez may not kick like Anderson Silva, but his dominance over heavyweight will parallel Silva’s period of dominance over middleweight. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

After the events of UFC 166, the heavyweight division is now the UFC’s least thrilling.

Heavyweight is the new middleweight. That is to say that the heavyweight division under Cain Velasquez‘s brutal, face-rearranging reign will resemble the middleweight division under Anderson Silva during his peak — a boring division where no fighter is a threat to the champ. A division where everybody says, “Meh, who cares about who’s challenging for the heavyweight title? Cain is going to destroy him anyway.”

The only fighter to ever humble Cain Velasquez was Junior Dos Santos. But Dos Santos couldn’t repeat his success. Velasquez wrought terrible vengeance on the Brazilian in the rematch at UFC 155, and then again in the rubber match at UFC 166.

Earlier this year, I predicted that the UFC heavyweight division would become stagnant and dull:

Both men are insanely talented. But that’s the problem — they’re both so talented that the rest of the fighters in the division aren’t a match for them. The only challenge to Velasquez is Dos Santos. The only challenge to Dos Santos is Velasquez.

I was right and wrong.

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Four UFC PPV Main Events That Were Worse Than Rampage vs. Ortiz


(For ten years, Rampage has been haunted by the memory of that brutal photo-bombing. And on November 2nd, he’ll have his revenge. Bellator 106: Bitter Homeboys, only on pay-per-view.)

By Matt Saccaro

The announcement of Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view was met with almost-universal criticism in the MMA world. And with good reason. Tito Ortiz vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson would have been a terrible main event in 2009, let alone 2013. But with the way people have been mocking it, you’d think that it was the first time a major MMA promotion had a bad fight main eventing a PPV.

This, of course, isn’t the case. The UFC has put on several PPVs whose main events rival Rampage-Ortiz in outright shittyness. For some reason, those PPVs didn’t draw the media’s collective derision like Rampage-Ortiz did. (It’s almost as if the mainstream MMA media is being coerced by some powerful, credential-wielding force…) But that’s OK; CagePotato is here to bring those terrible main events to justice.

So just what has the UFC given us to watch on Saturday nights that was as bad as the upcoming Rampage-Ortiz train wreck? Let’s have a look.

UFC 106: Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin II

Cracked skull vs. Xanax-laden stupor.

People might not agree with this pick, but Ortiz-Griffin II was an awful main event. By 2009, Ortiz wasn’t important enough to pay for — no matter who he was fighting. Going into the fight with Forrest Griffin, he was 1-2-1 in his last four fights, with his only win coming against Ken Shamrock in 2006. Tito’s best days were far behind him. In fact, he hadn’t beaten anyone NOT named Ken Shamrock since 2006 (and, coincidentally, it was Forrest Griffin who he beat).

Griffin, too, had whatever the opposite of “a head of steam” is going into UFC 106. Rashad Evans embarrassed him at UFC 92, taking the light heavyweight belt in the process. But what Evans did to him seemed tame compared to the legendary beat down that Anderson Silva bestowed on Griffin at UFC 101.

Put these ruts together and you get an overpriced PPV — $60 to watch two guys who would never be relevant again.

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POLL: Michael Bisping vs. Rich Franklin at Moneyweight — Yay or Nay?


(Once Bisping sees Franklin’s Harlem Shake call out video, this shit will be on like Donkey Kong.) 

In a recent interview with MMAWeekly, former middleweight champion Rich Franklin dispelled rumors that he would be retiring following his brutal knockout loss to Cung Le at UFC on FUEL 6 and stated that he would in fact like to face outspoken middleweight contender Michael Bisping next, possibly even at one of those catchweights he loves so much:

I look at my Twitter and a lot of people talk about (Michael) Bisping. That would be an exciting fight and something the fans would want to see. I’m an exciting fighter, he’s an exciting fighter, and we both like to throw down. Since my ultimate goal is not to go back and capture the 185-pound title, it doesn’t really matter to me if it’s at 185 or a catchweight or 205. Wherever the UFC needed me, I would fight, as long as the fight made sense. 

While this matchup does possess some novelty value and the potential to secure an end-of-the-night bonus at the very least (not unlike Franklin’s pairing against Forrest Griffin at UFC 126), it would also represent a significant regression in the title aspirations of Bisping. Considering Franklin has no intentions of fighting for a title in the future, let alone the one controlled by the incubus of his neverending nightmares, agreeing to the fight would in its own way represent a Michael Bisping who has potentially reached the same realization. Which would be kind of sad, because honestly, a humbled Bisping is a boring Bisping.

Then again, if we’ve learned anything in the past few months, it’s that wins are wins regardless of weight class. If Bisping were to accept the fight, he might do so under the belief that a win over a post-prime but still dangerous legend like Franklin would do more for his career than a win over the likes of say, another Alan Belcher. In either case, would you be interested in seeing this fight come to fruition?

Vote in our poll after the jump and make your case in the comments section. 

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CagePotato Databomb #8: Breaking Down the UFC Middleweights by Striking Performance


(Click chart for full-size versionFor previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

The UFC Middleweight division has long been ruled by the most feared and successful striker in MMA history, champion Anderson Silva. And perhaps more so than in smaller divisions, striking has been a good predictor of success at Middleweight. So examining this division in core striking performance metrics should provide good insight to how fighters will fare against each other in standup. A full explanation of the chart and variables is included at the end of this post.

But first, let’s see how the whole division stacks up against each other, and look at the winners and losers.

The Winners

Sniper Award: Two fights into his UFC career, cross-trained Dutchman Michael Kuiper has landed 49% of his power head strikes. We’ll see if he can maintain this in his upcoming matchup with veteran brawler Tom Lawlor in Sweden. Honorable mention must be given to Anderson Silva who has maintained 40% accuracy over his lengthy and dominant career. And also noteworthy is Italian boxer, Alessio Sakara, currently on the bench for health reasons.

Energizer Bunny Award: Strikeforce veteran Roger Gracie has been almost doubling the striking output of opponents on his way to a string of submission wins in typical Gracie fashion. Some grapplers use strikes to set up their mat-work, others don’t. Honorable mentions go to former champ Rich Franklin, and Strikeforce champ and crossover contender Luke Rockhold, who each tend to outpace their opponents by over 80%.

Biggest Ball(s) Award: The UFC record holder for knockdowns is Anderson Silva. He is literally the best in the business at dropping dudes. Statistically, when Silva lands a power head strike, there’s a 27% chance it will result in a knockdown, which is just ridiculous. These skills have won him Knockout of the Night honors seven times in the UFC.

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