Anton Tabuena for MMA Fighting
Headlining the UFC On Fuel 6 card, former champion Rich Franklin made his long awaited return to Middleweight. It'd been over 4 and a half years since Franklin last competed in the 185 lb. division. Since his fight against Travis Lutter, Franklin has bounced back and forth between Light Heavyweight and 195 lb catchweight fights. He also made a habit of taking last minute fights to save PPV's in his spare time. He was welcomed to the division by San Shou champ Cung Le. At UFC 147 Le got his first UFC win out of two fights with a unanimous decision over former contender Patrick Cote.
The former champ looked like he was controlling the fight for the first couple minutes. He landed a lot of leg kicks and a couple good combos. Le's mobility looked very limited and flat footed. Franklin was making the most of it as he circled and and landed the better punches. Then, when Franklin stepped in again to hit the inside leg kick, Le loaded up on a lead right hook that put Franklin to sleep. Cung Le knocked out Rich Franklin half way through the first round.