• UFC 133

Franklin open to future bout with Tito Ortiz

ESPN staff
July 18, 2011

Rich Franklin has revealed he would be happy to accept a future clash of two former UFC champions against Tito Ortiz.

Franklin is having to deal with the disappointment of being scratched from the UFC 133 card on August 6, after opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira withdrew due to injury. It is now expected that "Ace" will be realigned for an event later this summer.

The major problem for Franklin, after Nogueira pulled out at such short notice, was that all potential opponents were unavailable. The most obvious stand-in would have been Ortiz, but he had already answered an SOS to replace Phil Davis in the main event.

As two former champions, Franklin in the middleweight division and Ortiz at light-heavyweight, in the early part of the last decade, a potential fight between Ortiz and Franklin has long been discussed. The UFC is yet to offer it officially, but Franklin admits he would take it in the future.

"The only time it's been mentioned is by the fans," Franklin told MMA Weekly. "The UFC has never presented me with Tito, and as far as I'm aware they've never gone to him and presented me to him.

"So there's never been anything that's gone close to us signing on the dotted line or anything like that. But it's something the fans have talked about as being an entertaining fight and if it's something the UFC wants to put on, I'm open to that."

Franklin has suffered from the Anderson Silva factor over the years, which has forced him out of his natural weight class because he has been annihilated by Silva twice. The southpaw admits it is not his decision to continue at 205lbs, and he confesses the size difference is a struggle.

"The UFC basically has told me that they're not interested in having me fight at 185 anymore, which is the only reason why I made the move to 205 in the first place," Franklin explained. "So rather than being stuck in this no-mans land at 185 pounds, at least being at 205 I can work towards the title or something like that."

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