There is no title on the line and the two fighters in Ireland's UFC 93 main event next week have been see-sawing between weight classes looking for a home.
The payoff for Rich "Ace" Franklin and Dan Henderson will be reality TV stardom for the winner.
The victorious fighter will coach against Michael "The Count" Bisping for Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter.
But Franklin, who coached Season 2 of the popular program, says stepping up to lead a new crew of fighters is more a hinderance than a bonus.
"I was really excited to do the first season. I'd never really done anything like that before and it was a cool experience," says Franklin of his season on the show, which saw Rashad Evans and Joe Stevenson win their respective weight classes.
"Going back and doing it again, I'm not as excited about it. It's six weeks in Vegas. I'm constantly in Vegas and I've gotten to the point where I could care less about staying in Vegas for that extended period of time."
Franklin says taking six weeks off is both personally and professionally taxing.
"It's time away from my family and it's time away from the things I like doing or can be doing to make money and the show doesn't pay real well," he says.
"It's not as appealing, but anything the UFC asks me to do, I'm always on board for."
Both Henderson and Franklin have fought at middleweight (185 lbs.) and light-heavyweight (205 lbs.), with their fight in Ireland slated for the latter weight class.
LOST TO SILVA
Franklin, who started his career as a light-heavyweight, was a seemingly unbeatable middleweight champ in the UFC until he came across Anderson "Spider" Silva. Two title losses against the Brazilian striker forced Franklin to jump back up to 205 lbs.
Henderson, who boasts a 23-7 resume, has held belts in both classes while fighting for Pride but lost the two unification bouts in the UFC against Silva and then-light-heavyweight champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
With both fighters set to fight at 205 lbs. and the winner forced to drop back to middleweight once the TUF 9 season is over to take on Bisping, there seems to be no end to the scale-jumping for either.
But both fighters agree dropping weight when necessary is part of being a professional fighter -- as is the ability to trade leather with someone you like and respect.
"I have a lot of respect for Dan and I like him as a person," says Franklin, who has a 24-3-1 record.
"We have 15 minutes that we're going to be throwing punches at each other. The way I explain it to people, if I can come to the gym and punch some of my best friends in the head, then I have no problem throwing punches at a guy I just like."
IN THIS CORNER
QUINTON "RAMPAGE" JACKSON, MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Coming off an impressive win over Wanderlei Silva, Jackson is hoping to clear up his legal woes and challenge for the light-heavyweight title again this year. The Memphis native was arrested by police following the loss of his belt in July to Forrest Griffin. This week, Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of evading a peace officer and driving against traffic and driving recklessly following the police chase that led to his arrest. He could face up to six months in jail.
ON THE CARD
FUTURE FIGHTS AND EVENTS
- TNA Genesis pay-per-view tomorrow, 8 p.m. The event features Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley's return to ring action.
- UFC 93 from Dublin goes Jan. 17. The main event features Dan Henderson against Rich Franklin as well as Mauricio "Shogun" Rua taking on Mark Coleman.
The event is available in Canada on pay-per-view.