Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin did a long Q & A session with Tim Marchman of Sports Illustrated, and had some interesting comments about his career and his UFC 133 fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. He talks about changing up his camp, his place in the 205 division, and retirement. He starts with discussing where he is in his camp:
Franklin: We're four weeks out. I usually do an eight-week camp, but this time I started a week early. I'm not really sure why I did that, but I did. This is probably, just for peaking reasons, my most rigorous week, and then we'll start to back it off this week. Two weeks more of prep, and then we have fight week. As far as my camp goes, everything is good. I'm in good shape. I haven't had any injuries or dings or major bruises or any of that kind of stuff as of now, so I'm feeling good.
He also mentioned that he brought in a new wrestling coach for this camp, who is basically doubling as his head coach as well. After talking about the potential for overtraining and the need for great coaches in MMA, he is asked about where he think he stands in the 205 division:
SI.com: What are your goals right now?
Franklin: I don't know. I think I'm at a point where I need to look at what my long terms goals are, because losing the last fight with Forrest knocked me down a couple of notches, so I have to figure out where I need to be and all that kind of stuff. My immediate goal right now, my attention is focused on Nog.
SI.com: Longer term, you have anything in particular you're keying in on right now?
Franklin: Other than looking at your next fight -- the long term goal is always that I would love to get to the 205 pound belt. But to make statements like that after losing my last fight, it's too cliché and not even something that I would even really want to talk about. I have to worry about winning my next fight, and then I'll see where that leaves me in the 205 pound class, and then formulate a game plan.
And on the subject of retirement:
Franklin: I'll say this, I'm not ready to retire yet, but I can definitely tell that I'm closer to the end of the road than I was when I was 29 years old, or 30 years old, making those statements. Fortunately, my body is in pretty good shape. Everybody has their bumps and bruises and stuff like that, but overall I feel good, especially for a 36-year-old athlete, and I feel I'm capable of performing at the top level. So retirement isn't something that's at the forefront of my mind, but it's something I think about from time to time, and I know that it's in the future. I will not be one of those people that fight until I'm 40, I know that much.
There is a lot more than just this stuff in the interview and it's definitely worth a read. Franklin has always come across to me as one of the most intelligent, thoughtful guys in the sport and he makes a lot of solid points in response to some very good questions. You can check it out here.