We had a topic on the site just after UFC 99 where Rich Franklin narrowly defeated Wanderlei Silva debating Rich Franklin's place among the all time UFC greats. Most people gave Franklin props in that he was always game, fought some tough guys and probably will be in the UFC hall of game. However, I want to look at it slightly differently now.
As mentioned he narrowly defeated Wanderlei Silva then pretty much got ran through against Vitor Belfort at UFC 103. He took some time off and then came back to knockout Chuck Liddell this past weekend. His performance against Liddell was gritty, standing in the pocket against one of MMA's best KO artists with a broken arm is stuff of legend. It's not the first time, as he fought with a broken had against David Loiseau for like three rounds back at UFC 58.
Franklin has beat a lot of people in his career(28-5) and only lost to the best of the best. However, two of his biggest wins have come against name opponents that are past their glory days in Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. He did defeat Yushin Okami back at UFC 72 who has maintained his ability to fight at a high level. He arguably beat Dan Henderson back at UFC 93. I think Franklin gives anyone out there a tough fight, but I doubt he beats any of the top guys at LHW which is pretty much what I said a year ago.
Since Franklin has beaten 'legends' like Chuck and Wandy while they were past their prime, how should that affect his stock in regards to the all time greats? Or should it...build with me...