UFC 126 Fight Card Primer: Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin

Franklin_griffin_medium Former UFC champions Rich Franklin (28-5, 13-4 UFC) and Forrest Griffin (17-6, 8-4 UFC) meet in the co-main event of UFC 126.

How do these guys stack up?

Griffin: 31 years old, 6'3", 77" reach
Franklin: 36 years old, 6'1", 76" reach

What have they done lately?

Griffin: W Tito Ortiz (DEC), L Anderson Silva (KO), L Rashad Evans (TKO)
Franklin: W Chuck Liddell (KO), L Vitor Belfort (TKO), Wanderlei Silva (DEC)

How did these guys get here?

Forrest Griffin won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in an epic slugfest against Stephan Bonnar. He quickly proved himself a legitimate top level fighter and shocked the MMA world with a submission win over Mauricio Rua at UFC 76. One fight later, Griffin won the UFC light heavyweight championship with a decision win over Quinton Jackson. He found himself unable to successfully defend the title, losing by TKO to Rashad Evans and followed that up with a KO loss to middleweight king Anderson Silva. The Silva fight was a low point in Forrest's career as he was unable to do anything effective while Silva danced and dropped him three times in one round. In November of 2009 he get back on the winning path with a decision victory over Tito Ortiz.

Rich Franklin won the UFC middleweight title in 2005 by stopping Evan Tanner in the fourth round. That win was the nineteenth win in twenty fights for Franklin. Prior to the Tanner fight, Franklin had been competing as a light heavyweight. Franklin would defend the title successfully twice before running into the middleweight buzzsaw that is Anderson Silva, losing that fight by knockout. Two more wins set Franklin up with a chance to win his title back from Silva. Franklin was again stopped by Silva and started to bounce between middleweight, light heavyweight and 195 pound catchweight fights finding mixed success. Franklin was successful in his last trip to the Octagon, a KO victory over UFC legend Chuck Liddell.

Why should you care?

Two former champions and popular fighters doing battle at a pivotal moment in their careers should make for explosive action. The loser will face a long road back to contention while the winner will get in line for a possible title eliminator.

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