Rich Franklin vs. Matt Hamill
With Rich Franklin fighting his first fight at 205 pounds since his demolition of Ken Shamrock in 2005, there were a lot of questions he needed to answer. After the first round most of them were.
Franklin came out with a great game plan and began landing solid leg kicks to Hamill which forced him to be on guard throughout the round and kept his takedown attempts to a minimum. Both fighters suffered cuts around their eyes in the first round off of a couple different glancing blows, but these cuts were of minimal damage and would slow neither fighter's pace in the fight.
With under a minute to go Hammil gained his first takedown of the fight but Franklin worked this to his advantage and found himself with an arm bar in place. Hammil broke free of the arm bar and made his way up to his feet, however Franklin wasn't done and finished the round strong with a couple of solid knees to the body.
Franklin was fired up heading into the second and he continued to execute a solid and relentless game plan of high and low kicks mixed with an overload of looping punch combinations. The leg and body kicks were really taking a toll on Hammil as he looked to slowly lose energy whereas Franklin continued to gain momentum as they moved into the third and final round.
Franklin wasted no time in the third and about thirty seconds into the round he threw a solid combo of punches followed by a devastating liver kick that dropped Hamill immediately and ended the fight due to a referee stoppage.
Rich Franklin was awarded the TKO victory in a very impressive fight from the former middleweight champion.
Click here to see all the results of UFC 88.