Following shoulder surgery, Rich Franklin is aiming to return in 2012. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin is apparently recovering well from his recent shoulder surgery, as the fighter’s management announced Thursday that “Ace” hopes to return to the cage in 2012.
“I spoke with Rich; he’s feeling great and as soon as the doctor gives him the go-ahead, he’s ready to start training again,” said Franklin's manager, J.T. Stewart. “If everything goes as expected, UFC fans could see Rich Franklin back in the Octagon in late summer.”
The Ohio native reportedly tore his labrum while grappling last month and underwent surgery on Wednesday morning in Cincinnati. According to the release, the 37-year-old will require months of rehabilitation before he is given the green light to begin training once more.
Prior to suffering the injury, Franklin had been slated to square off with former Pride Fighting Championships star Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 133 on Aug. 6. However, Nogueira was forced to withdraw from the contest due to injury. Unable to find a replacement on short notice, the UFC pulled Franklin from the bout shortly thereafter.
Since losing his middleweight title to Anderson Silva in 2006, Franklin has fought with mixed results. Following a failed bid to recapture the 185-pound belt, “Ace” has fluctuated between light heavyweight and 195-pounds in the Octagon. Franklin has split his last six contests since leaving middleweight, earning wins over Matt Hamill, Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell, while dropping bouts to Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin.