In what could be a clash of two former UFC middleweight champions if it comes to fruition, the retired Rich Franklin believes he could beat Anderson Silva in a trilogy fight between the two.
Franklin and Silva first met back at UFC 64 in 2006, when Silva ended Franklin’s run as middleweight champ by handing him his first ever UFC loss. They met a year later at UFC 77 with the fight ending in similar fashion to their first, when Silva finished Franklin with knees.
Talking to theScore MMA, Franklin said he would love to fight Silva again, and that he is impressed the “Spider” is still competing at the age of 44.
“I would love to dance with Anderson again. And I believe I could beat him,” Franklin said. “But that’s the kind of mentality you have to have as an athlete, right? It’s amazing seeing somebody that at our age is still competing and trust me, on a realistic note, I think about it from time to time. It’s what you love to do.
“That’s why Anderson is still competing. Because it’s what he loves to do. I love competition, I love martial arts, I love training. So don’t think I don’t occasionally maybe get that bug.”
Franklin (29-7, 1NC) hasn’t fought since losing his final UFC fight in 2012 to Cung Le by first round knockout. Meanwhile Silva (34-10, 1NC) has fought twice in 2019, losing a decision to Israel Adesanya in February and suffering a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier in May.