Dan Henderson Versus Rich Franklin at UFC 93

Posted January 15, 2009 in

Blame this match-up occurring at light heavy on Anderson Silva. Dan Henderson and Rich “Ace” Franklin never met as middleweights when both men seemed like wrecking balls at 185, and after each lost to Spider (Franklin losing twice) the vets caromed off into respective career purgatories. Inevitably, they both found solace in the division of possibility, the field of 205ers, where title shots can still be had. Now they finally clash in Dublin, Ireland at UFC 93, and this has become one of those big crossroads fights where one man propels towards Rashad Evans (and gets to be the US coach on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter), while the other begins to make out the writing on the wall. Temecula’s “Hendo” Henderson is coming off a decision win against BJJ ace Rousimar Palhares, a fight that he dominated from the opening bell, after consecutive losses to Quinton Jackson and Silva. Franklin disposed of Matt Hamill on that same UFC 88 card in Atlanta, and, record wise, only seems vulnerable against Anderson Silva. In fact, he’s 26-1 against anybody other than Spider. Where Henderson carries an edge is his use of the clinch, where Franklin has had trouble. The crafty Franklin can adjust and react better than just about anybody in MMA. Each has a champion’s heart, Hendo from his Pride days and Franklin from his reign as the UFC middleweight champion pre-Silva. This the kind of bout that happens only once in a while—two hard-converging former champions vying for position back at the top, with no belt on the line but definitely the chance of ever seeing it again. (Chuck Mindenhall)

Dan Henderson versus Rich Franklin at UFC 93, from O2 Arena in Dublin, Ireland, on PPV, Sat., Jan. 17, 7PM


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