Rich Franklin: 'I wholeheartedly believe that I can beat Anderson Silva'

Jeff Vinnick/Zuffa LLC

In addition, "Ace" believes he could dethrone 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones.

Think positive!

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion and part-time light heavyweight, Rich Franklin, has not yet closed the book on his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, despite his pre-occupation with a bustling juice business.

Franklin (29-7) has one fight remaining on his current UFC contract and fully intends to make good on it (eventually). How about one last crack at Anderson Silva? Sure, he was mangled in his first two attempts at squishing "The Spider," but third time's the charm, right?

"Ace" breaks it down for the boys at Submission Radio:

"Would I fight Anderson a third time? Absolutely. Is it because I feel like I have some unfinished business? Not at all. It's just, in my mind as a champion and to have the mentality of a champion, I 100-percent wholeheartedly believe that I can beat Anderson in a fight. Not just Anderson, but just anybody like that's the mentality you have to have. If somebody says 'Rich do you think you can beat Anderson Silva in a fight?' Absolutely, yes. 'Rich do you think you could beat Jon Jones in a fight?' Absolutely yes. Like, you have to answer 'yes' to those questions and not just because it's a formality, but because you believe that stuff, because you believe in yourself and if you don't believe in yourself then you don't have any business pursuing a title in a sport or something like that, you don't have any business in the pursuit of being the best. And so yeah I would take a fight with Anderson. It wouldn't be for any reason like redemption of vengeance or retribution or any other kinda cool word that we've seen on a UFC poster before, but yeah I would fight him and I believe I could beat him and that's just me with the champion's mentality."

Franklin turns 40 years old this October.

In addition, he's coming off a lights-out knockout against Cung Le back in late 2012, in a middleweight showdown that will soon mark two years since he last stepped foot inside the cage. A thrid dance with Silva is not outrageous, considering the Brazilian has spent most of 2014 learning how to walk again.

Any fight fans out there on board for "Silva vs. Franklin III?"

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