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Franklin didn’t duck Filho

MMAFighting.com has conducted a recent interview with Rich Franklin. Franklin sets the record straight about how the replacement opponent for Martin Kampmann was decided upon for UFC 72.

There had been a lot of message forum scuttlebut (wow, did I just use that word?) that Paulo Filho was proposed as an opponent and Franklin turned it down. Franklin confirms that Filho was disucssed as a possibility, but that the UFC made the final decision to move Okami into the main event.

Here’s the excerpt that sets the record straight:

Rich Franklin: I was actually out of town the night that I found out that Kampmann was hurt. I got a call from a friend of mine. I called my manager to find out if there was any truth to the matter. He said he hadn’t heard anything from the UFC. He called the UFC and called me back saying that the UFC was going to have to find somebody. It took a couple of days before they came back with a name for me. Actually, they had thrown Paulo Filho and Yushin Okami. And so Monte and I were discussing the whole scenario, and I told Monte [Cox] to just let me know who the UFC decides to come back with.

MMAFighting.com: So, it wasn’t your choice?

Rich Franklin: No, not at all. Several days later they came back with Yushin Okami as the replacement. I said that’s fine. Either way, I was fine. I essentially said, “Cool, let me know what they decide.”

You can read the full interview here:

http://www.mmafighting.com/interviews/2007/rich_franklin_pre_ufc_72.html

7 COMMENTS
  • says:

    I will take his word for it. Okami is a good wrestler and is going to be one of rich’s biggest tests but filho would have been tougher imo. i can’t remember the last time rich faced a top wrestler (I don’t think he has). I think filho still needs to be tested. I am hoping that the UFC signs kang just to deepen that division.

  • says:

    dennis kang would be great to see. what about this guy Prangley, who’s in bodog right now? does he fight light heavy or MW? ah, took my own advice and looked it up: http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?FighterID=4789
    MW. i watched the bodog show the other night and he’s impressive.
    what’s equally impressive is babalu beating him, Shogun, and Jeremy Horn to win the IFC a few years ago.
    http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?search=yes&EventID=1796

  • says:

    btw, I like your commenting system A LOT more than the old site.

  • says:

    Garth, everyone appears to like it better. The volume of comments on the blog has increased a lot. I love WordPress. It’s so much easier! I had no idea what I was missing out on!

    Also, I am taking Rich’s word for it. Rich is good people. He’s one of the most honorable and nicest guys in MMA. A true gentleman. The UFC is more likely to try and protect him than Rich is to duck a fight. It’s no coincidence he hasn’t fought any wrestlers recently (it’s the Chuck Liddell strategy). The UFC wants a money middleweight title matchup for the fall and I’m pretty sure they want Franklin to be the challenger. Okami is going to be a tough fight. If Rich keeps it standing, he’ll win. If it foes to the ground, man, that’s going to be tough.

  • says:

    Garth, as you saw from Sherdog, Prangley has fought in the UFC in the past. I think he was even rumored for TUF 4 but signed with Bodog.

    He’s pretty much a journeyman and not the type of guy who wants to fight for entry-level money in the UFC. And I don’t think the UFC sees him as someone they want to pay more than $6-8K per fight.

    I also think Prangley has a long-term deal with Bodog, which probably pays pretty well. I know that he’ll be one of the headliners for a show in Trenton that Bodog will be putting on this summer.

    I’d also love to see Denis Kang in the UFC. I think he’ll either end up in the WEC or UFC.

  • says:

    ps I forgot to mention that even though rich may not have ducked filho, that doesn’t mean Monte cox didn’t play a role in who rich faced. He is about the biggest agent in the game and I think he has a little pull when it comes to choosing opponents. I am in no way saying that he did in this case, but if I was rich franklins agent and I make money by keeping him on the road to a title shot; I would avoid filho at all costs.

  • says:

    Dice, I agree 100% with what you said about Monte Cox. Dead on point.

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