|ESPN.com: Mixed Martial Arts||[Print without images]|
If you're Rich Franklin, what are you thinking this morning?
"Losses have followed wins in eight fights since 2009."
"No one is operating under the illusion that at the age of 38, I'm a viable contender anymore.""My brain was just scrambled -- again -- this time by a 40-year-old foe."
"I've done this cage-fighting thing since 1999, and been very good most of the way."
"I've held a UFC championship belt, and earned a deserved reputation for professionalism."
Really, there's nothing Franklin can do at this stage of his career that he hasn't already accomplished. And odds are slim that he'd find the rarefied air of championship success one more time.
|Timber! Rich Franklin's return to middleweight didn't go very well.|
I figure that's the most significant question to come out of another fight-filled weekend, one that included Franklin's knockout loss to Cung Le during UFC's first foray into the (close to) Chinese market.
The easy answer is yes, Franklin should leave the sport. There's nothing left for him to do. Incentives to continue come down to one thing: paydays. Franklin has been one of the fighters who has done everything Zuffa has asked of him. He's a UFC company man through and through. And if Dana White wanted Franklin to step in the cage again, chances are he would.
I'd hope he would do otherwise. Franklin has no need to risk taking more punishment and being in the situation Chuck Liddell was when "Ace" knocked him senseless in 2010.
From A+ to F, here's how several fighters fared over the weekend: