According to the Dayton Daily News writer and MMAJunkie founder Dann Stupp, Rich Franklin has decided that he will stay at Light Heavyweight instead of moving between the two weight classes or potentially dropping back down to Middleweight:
Over the past half year, Franklin has been hesitant to call the move to 205 a long-term solution. But after spending the past two weeks training with Anderson Silva in Los Angeles and building something of an alliance, Franklin admits his middleweight days are probably behind him.
"I’ll say this much," Franklin said. "With training with Anderson out here in L.A. and him being the champ at 185, it really makes me feel like I don’t have a place at 185 pounds anymore.
"I don’t see myself going to back to 185."
I think is a good move for Rich Franklin's future in MMA. Franklin has proven to be one of the best Middleweights in the world, but Anderson Silva has been the knife in his back when it comes to being relevant in the title picture at 185 pounds.
With Franklin's recent performances against Dan Henderson and Matt Hamill, Franklin has the build to be able to perform at 205 lbs., but he also has the skills to be a very formidable opponent for anyone in the division. His bout with Henderson, although a losing performance, was thought to be a very close bout against a top wrestler in the sport while his matchup with Hamill proved that he can at least be effective against lower and mid-echelon talent within the division.
Add in the fact that Franklin has some good reach, solid power, and an overall well-rounded MMA skillset that will see an added strength bonus with the weight increase, he could definitely make himself a home near the top of the division if he can defeat Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99. At 34 years of age, however, many fans are skeptical as to how many years Franklin can remain relevant. Wanderlei should prove to be much more than just a single fight, but as a proving ground to whether Franklin can actually hang in the Light Heavyweight division.