Rich Franklin (pictured)
Rich Franklin (pictured)

Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin has officially announced his retirement from MMA as a fighter. The 40 year old Franklin (29-7, 1NC) hasn’t competed since November 2012, a first round KO loss against Cung Le in China. Franklin did his own thing after that fight even though he had one fight left on his UFC contract. The former high school math teacher gave a quick synopsis of his time as a fighter and why he choose to leave a stable life as a teacher to chase a dream as a MMA fighter when it wasn’t all about the glitz and the glamour or money that fighters now make in the link below I know it sounds crazy but Franklin probably would make more money as a teacher a decade ago than as a MMA fighter just getting into the UFC.

Franklin won the UFC middleweight title in 2003 at UFC 53 via fourth round TKO against Evan Tanner. He was able to defend that title twice before running into this guy named Anderson Silva who defeated him in violent fashion, and basically forcing Franklin to go back to the light heavyweight division where he was often the smaller fighter.

Franklin was known as a “company” man often taking fights at catch-weight or doing tons of promotion on behalf of MMA as a sport in the early days because he had a college degree and was articulate in his interviews. However, Franklin was a very good fighter for his era, and beat the likes of Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva, albeit they were on the downside of their careers at that point. He still played a very important part in getting MMA to where it is today in my opinion.

Franklin has still been involved with the sport of MMA since taking the three year hiatus from competing. He became the VP of the Singapore based ONE Fighting Championship MMA organization in April 2014.

One thought on “Former UFC champion Rich Franklin officially retires”
  1. One of my few friends in MMA that I have remained in contact with. Rich is a legend and a pioneer.

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