I have been in talks with ONE FC about taking a job with them. They offered me a position as VP. I will be heading to ONE FC headquarters in the next few weeks to work out the details. I met with Dana and Lorenzo at the end of last year and they gave me their blessing. I will keep you posted.
As MMA Junkie reported, Franklin still has a fight on his UFC contract and stated that he wanted to fulfill his obligations. Taking a desk job with another MMA promotion almost definitely means that his fighting days are done.
“I believe that there’s a potential loser in each and every one of you.”
It’s not exactly the kind of line you’d expect to hear during one of those usually uplifting TED speeches — but learning how to react to defeat and learn from it is one of the greatest lessons that former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin can give us. In this must-see monologue from last month’s TEDxUChicago, Franklin discusses his crushing first loss to Anderson Silva, why his win over Travis Lutter remains his favorite fight, and what it means to be an “effective loser” and to “lose with the effort of a champion.” Check it out…
(Now that I think about it, Rich always was something of a forward thinker when it came to MMA.)
If Rich Franklin is “a loser” by his own admission, I’d sure like to know who he considers a winner (besides Anderson Silva, obviously). The former middleweight champion has been killing it outside of the octagon lately, opening his own successful, high-end juice business and now, accepting a role as the Vice President of burgeoning Asian MMA promotion, One FC. Not bad for a guy who once *insert hackneyed Ace Ventura reference here*
While rumors of Franklin’s potential gig started floating around more than a month ago, it wasn’t until this morning that Cheryl Tay of Yahoo Sports broke the official news. ONE FC chief executive officer Victor Cui was more than elated when discussing the role of his promotion’s latest acquirement:
Rich Franklin is another perfect example – he is an icon in this industry. Everybody loves him, he is well-respected, and he will a fantastic addition to the team in terms of experience and helping the sport grow in Asia from ground up awareness.
We will continue to define his role but to me now what’s most important is finding the best people. I am aggressively hiring in all positions and looking to add another 200 staff in the near future as we grow. At the moment, we are a young company still and Rich will do a lot of different things for us, from talent management to fighter recruitment and giving seminars.
Franklin was similarly excited by the prospect of working for Asia’s fastest-developing MMA promotion, telling Yahoo that “MMA in Asia right now is at the tip of the iceberg.”
“If you were to rewind the clock,” said Franklin, “it’s like MMA in the States back in 2003. I think MMA is going to take off like wildfire here in Asia and I will be part of it.”
I look at my Twitter and a lot of people talk about (Michael) Bisping. That would be an exciting fight and something the fans would want to see. I’m an exciting fighter, he’s an exciting fighter, and we both like to throw down. Since my ultimate goal is not to go back and capture the 185-pound title, it doesn’t really matter to me if it’s at 185 or a catchweight or 205. Wherever the UFC needed me, I would fight, as long as the fight made sense.
While this matchup does possess some novelty value and the potential to secure an end-of-the-night bonus at the very least (not unlike Franklin’s pairing against Forrest Griffin at UFC 126), it would also represent a significant regression in the title aspirations of Bisping. Considering Franklin has no intentions of fighting for a title in the future, let alone the one controlled by the incubusof his neverending nightmares, agreeing to the fight would in its own way represent a Michael Bisping who has potentially reached the same realization. Which would be kind of sad, because honestly, a humbled Bisping is a boring Bisping.
Then again, if we’ve learned anything in the past few months, it’s that wins are wins regardless of weight class. If Bisping were to accept the fight, he might do so under the belief that a win over a post-prime but still dangerous legend like Franklin would do more for his career than a win over the likes of say, another Alan Belcher. In either case, would you be interested in seeing this fight come to fruition?
Vote in our poll after the jump and make your case in the comments section.
According to a release from Authentic Sports Management, Eric Eisner’s Double E Pictures has optioned the film rights for former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin’s life story.
Eisner has hired screenwriter David Hollander (The Cleaner; The Guardian) to pen the script and Sean Sorensen from Motion Theory to produce the film that will chronicle Franklin’s journey from math teacher and self-taught mixed martial artist to UFC middleweight champion.
This weekend, the UFC will be making its first ever trip to China, which totally explains why they decided to stack a garbage ass card with Japanese fighters and put a Vietnamese guy in the main event, because close enough, right kids?
All kidding and racially misguided motivations aside, we will be in for a hell of a fight when Rich Franklin and Cung Le throw down this Saturday. Both men are known for turning in crowd-pleasing performances each and every time they step into the octagon — thanks in part to Rich’s fearless demeanor and Cung’s Cirque du Soleil-esque kicking ability — and both have gone win-loss in their last four fights. It’s not exactly a must win for either of these company men, but with Franklin currently standing at around a -300 favorite heading into fight night, we figured we would take a look at just how well these two match up, Head to Head style. Enjoy.
“Lunch or Dinner: $1,000 Invite Rich to join you and your guests for lunch or dinner. You choose the restaurant and you choose what you want to talk about. Ask Rich questions about his career as a professional mixed martial artist. (Up to 2 hours)”
Man, I really want to start a Kickstarter account just so I can take Rich to Arby’s and talk about Anderson Silva‘s career for two hours. Does that make me a terrible person? I don’t know. But if I’m shelling out a friggin’ thousand bucks, I want to make sure my guest of honor is having as bad a time as possible.
The Vietnamese-born Le came out of his last victory with a “pretty banged up [knee],” which is keeping him out of the gym for four-to-six weeks, but he’s expected to be ready by the November date. No word yet on if the fight would take place at middleweight or at a catchweight; Franklin hasn’t competed at 185 since April 2008.
("When you put your focus on one thing, you tend not to focus on the journey. Once you get there, it’s not going to be as big of a deal as you thought it was going to be.")
This Saturday, Rich Franklin will step into the Octagon for the 18th time to face Forrest Griffin in the co-headlining feature of UFC 126. During his 12-year career, Ace has experienced everything from championship glory to bitter defeat, and now stands as one of the sport’s most revered statesmen. “I think that what people will remember me for is that I’m a tough competitor who’s put on entertaining fights for the fans all these years," Franklin tells CagePotato. "And I’m happy with that kind of legacy.”
Rich was generous enough to give us some phone-time recently, and instead of asking him about his gameplan for Forrest, we discussed Franklin’s career as a whole, from the moment he decided to pursue MMA as a full-time job, to the fight that changed his life, to every other notable moment that helped forge the fighter he is today. Let’s begin…
The Early Days, 1993-1999 Rich Franklin: “I started training in traditional martial arts in 1993, then I saw the first couple UFCs and started doing some jiu-jitsu. I was training at a Royce Gracie chapter here in Cincinnati, and the guy who was leading my class was a blue belt. By today’s standards, if the best you had in your area was a blue belt, you’d be way behind the times, but in 1994 it was a big deal to have that kind of a resource. So I was doing jiu-jitsu, working with kickboxing coaches, and of course I’d been watching the UFC, learning off instructional tapes and all those kinds of things.
I started fighting at these little local amateur shows out in Richmond, Indiana, and clearly at that point in time, I was just light-years ahead of the competition that was showing up at the event. The promoter told me, ‘These are amateur events, I don’t really have anybody for you to fight.’ But there was a gentleman there who said, ‘You know what, I run a pro show, and I’ll pay you to fight." And he offered me 200 bucks. I was like, ‘Wow, I can make money fighting? This is great. I’m gonna make 200 bucks." I was bankin’.
RICH FRANKLIN (5-0) vs. AARON BRINK (7-4) — Franklin’s first regional title fight IFC: Warriors Challenge 11, 1/13/01 Result: No contest due to accidental injury, after Brink’s leg slipped through the cage.
(“If this isn’t a world where Mitt Romney is president, you can just put me back to sleep thank you very much.”)
As we mentioned in our head to head assessment of this weekend’s UFC Macao main event matchup, Rich Franklin is one tough SOB. So tough, in fact, that he not only managed to fight through a broken arm in his UFC 115 match against Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell, but even made sure to finish Liddell before the bell rung, for the fight could have likely been called in Liddell’s favor had both men made it to their corners.
So with the main card action kicking off at a completely reasonable 9 a.m. EST this Saturday, the UFC has released a couple of Franklin’s (as well as Le’s) fights online to give us all a little refresher course on what our two headliners have been up to. It’s a noble effort, but there’s simply no way in hell I will have recovered from my night of binge drinking, bum fighting, and huffing paint thinner through an old grease rag in time to catch any of the main card matchups live. They’re called priorities.
Anyway, head after the jump to take a stroll down memory lane, even though you probably remember the intricacies of this fight better than ol’ Chucky boy does.