Franklin Regrets Not Facing Bisping, Lil Nog

Rich Franklin had an MMA career many could only dream of having, but there are still a couple of fighters he wished he could have squared off against.

Franklin, the vice president of ONE Championship, has faced many of the sport’s biggest names, including Ken Shamrock, Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort and Chuck Liddell.

A couple of months after upsetting Shamrock at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale, he defeated Evan Tanner at UFC 53 to win the UFC middleweight championship. He made two defenses of the title before dropping it to Anderson Silva.

Three years after getting knocked out by Cung Lee, Franklin retired from MMA with a record of 29-7 (1 NC). He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame earlier this year.

But if Franklin could have had more fights in his career, he wishes he could have faced a fellow Hall of Famer and former middleweight champ in Michael Bisping, or for a fight with the legendary Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (“Lil Nog”). In fact, Franklin and “Lil Nog” were scheduled to face off at UFC 133 in 2011 before Nogueira was forced out with an injury.

“I think Bisping and I would put on a really entertaining match,” Franklin said. “There was talk about that for some time. I was, at one point in time, matched up with Nogueira and he got injured. I think that would have been a fun fight to watch, as well.

“When you look at my career, from the moment I stepped into the big stage there in the UFC, my first match in the UFC was Evan Tanner. He was 8-1 at the time and his only loss was to Tito Ortiz. So from the moment I stepped into the big league, I was really swimming with the sharks.

“After I won the title, from that moment on, this sport in particular, you don’t get any tomato cans. Everybody that you’re matched up against in Mixed Martial Arts is the No. 1 contender every single time. And even after I lost my title, I still maintained main event status all the way till the end of my career. I was always fighting either top-five guys or former champions from the UFC or some other organization. My entire career was swimming with the sharks.”

Original Story: MMAJunkie

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