"I talked to the UFC about dropping back down to 185, and they liked the idea," Franklin said. "A win here I think will start jockeying me in that position, and I'll start looking at a possible title hunt after that."
Franklin's past six fights have either been at light heavyweight or catch weights, and he has gone 3-3 in that stretch, alternating wins (Matt Hamill, Silva, Chuck Liddell) and losses (Dan Henderson, Belfort, Forrest Griffin).
Against Silva, he'll fight for the first time since his UFC 126 loss to Griffin – the longest layoff of his career thanks to fall shoulder surgery. But because he was training and ready for a fight this past August with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira that never materialized, he isn't concerned with cage rust.
He did say, though, that another major injury could have him thinking about hanging up the gloves quicker than he wants to.
"As far as retirement goes, when it comes to injuries and things like that, if I suffer another major injury, like a shoulder or a broken arm that's going to put me out for six months, something like that could quite possibly retire me," Franklin said. "And I'm well aware of that. That's always in the back of my mind. I realize that I'm closer to retirement than I am to the beginning of my career – much closer, at this point in time. I don't have a date set when I think I'll retire. But I've always said I didn't believe I'd be fighting into my 40s. I'm one of those people with his career that I kind of take it day by day.
"I woke up today and thought to myself, 'I would much rather be in the gym training for a fight than going and working in some office in a cubicle when I love competing.' I get to do what I love on a daily basis, and I'll continue to do it as long as I love doing it and my body will allow it."
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