Rich Franklin shoulder injury will require surgery, expected to miss up to three months

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Those of you hoping to see Rich Franklin vs. Tito Ortiz before the end of the year are likely to be disappointed.

That's because "Ace," who ballooned up to light heavyweight for the second leg of his UFC career, injured his shoulder in training camp (torn labrum) and will require "minor surgery" that is expected to keep him on the shelf for two-to-three months.

Says Franklin:

"The timing of this shoulder injury is unfortunate considering my fight was pulled from the UFC 133 card, but I know everything will go as planned and that I will recover quickly. The UFC is being supportive, and I hope my fans also will be understanding - I promise to get back in the Octagon and fight again as soon as possible.”

Franklin was booked to throw hands opposite Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 133 last month in Philadelphia; however, "Lil' Nog" was unable to hold up his end of the bargain and withdrew from the pay-per-view contest due to injury.

That left the American Fighter in no man's land, a territory he's become more familiar with since the end of his last title reign.

Since departing the middleweight division, he's fought four times at light heavyweight and had two bouts at a catchweight of 195-pounds. The results? Decidedly mixed, with "Ace" compiling a mediocre 3-3 record.

There are still plenty of opponents to keep the former math teacher employed, but It might be time to go the Matt Hughes/Randy Couture route and just give him "interesting" fights that fans would enjoy but won't necessarily affect divisional rankings.

Who would you like to see him fight in his 2012 return? Ortiz? Nogueira?

Someone else?

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