(Photo courtesy of KeepItIntheRing.org.)
MMA Rated is reporting that Rich Franklin will move to light-heavyweight to take on Matt Hamill at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta). Franklin spent much of his early career as a 205-pounder, before moving to middleweight in June 2005 when he took the UFC’s 185-pound strap from Evan Tanner. As for the matchup, there’s no danger of Franklin being torn apart by Hamill, Anderson Silva-style, but he’d better start drilling his takedown defense if he wants to avoid being laid on for 15 minutes by the hulking wrestler. And speaking of avoidance, how’s this for self-ownage — Franklin moving up in weight because he’s tired of bashing his face against Anderson Silva’s knees, while Silva is testing the waters at 205 because he cleared out the middleweight division. No matter where Ace goes, Spider is right there waiting, making sure he never gets another belt in his life. Poor guy.
In other news, we previously passed along a rumor that Jesse Taylor and CB Dollaway would fight at UFC Fight Night 14 (July 19th, Las Vegas), and multiple sources are now confirming the matchup. It feels a little premature for both fighters. Dollaway, who would be fighting just four weeks after his loss to Amir Sadollah at the TUF 7 finale, could use more time to cultivate his submission defense, and who knows if Jesse Taylor’s brief stint in AA and a couple months of groveling for Dana White has actually turned him into a stable human being. But it’s the matchup that fans of the show want to see, and it’s happening, whether they’re ready or not.