What if two former champions were matched up to fight? What if two of the most beloved and talented fighters in the sport of MMA today were matched up to fight? Two men who love to come out and strike with their opponents and swing for the fences.
Enter Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin.
Rich Franklin is the former UFC Middleweight Champion. Although he started his career in the Light heavyweight division, he moved down in weight and was eventually able to capture the gold. He held the title until he ran into a man named Anderson Silva.
Does anyone really need to be reminded of what happened?...I didn't think so.
After a few more fights at middleweight and a rematch with Silva, Franklin eventually made the move back up to light heavyweight and defeated a very tough opponent in Matt Hamill with a kick to the body. Franklin has fought his last two fights at catchweights of 195. One against Wanderlei Silva and the other against returning UFC star Vitor Belfort.
Franklin, after a very exciting three round battle with Wandi, was declared the winner. In his next fight though, he was not so lucky. After probably the most boring first two minutes of a fight in UFC history, Franklin was knocked out by Belfort. From my point of view, it looked like Franklin was trying to recover and was hit with an illegal hit to the back of the head. I could be wrong though. I've been wrong before, but I don't think I'm wrong about this.
Anyway, something that people love about Franklin is his willingness to come out and bang. He's not afraid to stand toe-to-toe with an opponent and swing for the fences. But Franklin has mastered he style of being a man that will swing away, but will not do it in a reckless fashion. He'll stand and throw with someone, but he won't be careless and take unnecessary risks. He is a "tactical brawler" as I would say.
Franklin may have a record of 1-2 in his last three fights, but the only one that he didn't look great in was his fight against Belfort. Then again, Belfort didn't look all that good either until he caught Franklin. So going 1-2 in his last three fights really isn't anything that he should be ashamed of because he had great outings in two of them.
Forrest griffin is the type of fighter, much like Franklin, that will stand across from, and fight, anyone that is put in front of him. He doesn't back out of fights and he doesn't back down in fights.
In his last three fights, he has also gone 1-2. Losing back-to-back fights against top flight competition in the form of Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva.
Now, in the Rashad Evans fight, Forrest was winning the fight until he was caught on the ground with a big punch. Forrest has even admitted that he thought that he could take a minute and rest with Rashad in his guard. Well, turns out he couldn't.
Then in his fight against Anderson Silva, Forrest did something that no one has done for a while. He pushed the action. Finally, Anderson Silva had a fight that wasn't boring. Because, let's be honest, his fights against Cote and Leites, both were probably two of the worst main events in UFC, and maybe even MMA, history.
Forrest came out and pushed the action against Anderson and I thought that he actually had a chance to win. But, unfortunately, he was knocked out. People criticized Forrest for running out of the ring after the loss, and I have this question...Imagine that you're fighting the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet and he knocks you out cold? Would you stick around to do a post fight interview in the ring, or would you leave? I'm not afraid to admit it, I would have been out of that ring faster then Forrest was! No one should have criticized him for doing that.
Forrest is one of the most dedicated fighters in the game today. Randy Couture has said that he has literally had to kick Forrest out of the gym. And that shows in Forrest's most recent fight against Tito Ortiz.
It was clear that Forrest's footwork and head movement had improved a lot and that his striking was much crisper. Because of that, he won the fight.
The rumor that Franklin and Forrest are going to throw down has been thrown around the Internet for about six months now.
I don't think that anybody has to think to hard to know what this fight would be like if they ever were to meet in the cage. They would come out and swing. Forrest really likes to work leg kicks, and Franklin really likes to work body kicks. So it would be interesting to see how these two fighters' kicks would do against one another.
If it was to go to the ground, it would be a great grappling match. Although, I think that most of us could agree that Forrest would submit Franklin.
So if they come out and stand, then it would go either way, but if it went to the ground, the fight would probably go to Forrest.
No matter who the winner of this fight would be, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be a real barn burner and a very explosive and entertaining fight.