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Franklin-Henderson, St. Pierre-Fitch On The Horizon

Jon FitchBoth Rich Franklin and George St. Pierre need only time to recover from their UFC 83 bouts before facing their next challenge, according to Dave Meltzer’s latest article from Yahoo! Sports:

“New welterweight champion St. Pierre was offered a title defense with Jon Fitch, but felt his hands were damaged in his win over Matt Serra in Montreal and he couldn’t be ready in such a short period of time. Franklin, who also fought in Montreal, was offered a match with Dan Henderson, but felt after such a hard training camp that he wouldn’t be able to peak again so soon. Both fights are expected to take place later this year.”

The article also highlights how Matt Hughes came into the picture to face Thiago Alves at UFC 85, and shared Hughes’ strategy for attacking the 24-year-old up and comer:

“Last Tuesday I was at practice and I did the whole practice, I didn’t just coach,” said Hughes…When my boys ran sprints, I ran sprints, and everything I taught them, I did as well. So from there I kinda got the itch too where I said, ‘Hey, I’m not in bad shape,’ and my plan was to start getting ready to return. Then Dana (UFC President Dana White) called and I didn’t hesitate to take the fight.

Thiago is coming off a big win against Karo Parisyan, so honestly, I’ll probably look to take him down, try to wear him out and get him a little slower because he’s got such quick punches, knees and kicks,” said Hughes, a two-time welterweight champion whose hopes for a title shot appear slim after St. Pierre thoroughly dominated him. “I think strength will come into play, me being bigger than he is, but I’m glad to fight Thiago”

Additionally, Meltzer was able to shed a little bit of light on Chuck Liddell’s revised situation:

“Liddell, meanwhile, hopes to be back for a show in September. His likely opponents would either be Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who he was originally scheduled to face in London before Rua had surgery for a torn ACL, or more likely whoever wins the May 24 match between Wanderlei Silva and Keith Jardine.”

Not exactly earth shattering news about Liddell though personally I’m hoping Rua can recover and get back into fighting shape to meet “The Iceman” in September.

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