Rich Franklin turns 40 in October and as he stated last November on Inside MMA, he’s come to the conclusion that his title aspirations are over, and that he was looking to take one more fight before retiring.
However, as fans are finding out today, Franklin was offered a fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on the UFC Fight Night 40 card in Cincinnati, but has turned it down.
As the May 10th event is scheduled to take place in Franklin’s hometown and would stand as a great venue for “Ace” to make his final Octagon appearance, his turning the Nogueira match down might be indicative of the fact that Franklin has already retired.
As was noted in Ariel Helwani’s tweet regarding Franklin turning the “Little Nog” fight down, there’s “no word if he will ever fight again.”
In terms of why Franklin would turn down a final bout on his home turf, it could simply be business and the fact that “Ace” has moved on with his life since his last fight and loss, back in November of 2012. On the night, Cung Le dispatched Franklin via KO in the first round, crushing whatever title hopes the aging “Buckeye” had left.
Since the UFC on Fuel TV 6 event, Franklin has been busy with his chain of juice bars and bakeries, and perhaps has come to the conclusion that he simply can’t take time away from his growing enterprise. Certainly not enough time to focus on and train for a fight with the ever dangerous Nogueira.
If this is the case, and Franklin has indeed retired, then he goes out the door as a much loved fighter and a fan favorite. And is so, then his fans are sure to wish “Ace” all the best in his business endeavors.