Rich Franklin Set To Retire After One More Fight

Sadly, an era comes to an end; Rich “Ace” Franklin is retiring.

Ace made it public yesterday on AXS TV’s “Inside MMA”, when he disclosed to Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten that he’ll take one more fight and then pack it in.

The nine year UFC veteran has come to the conclusion that his career and viability in the sport has run its course. As Rich sees it, it would be years of work and effort to put him back into contention and at age 39, he knows (realistically) that it’s not likely to happen.

As Ace put it to Kenny & Bas:

“I lost my last fight, and that really kind of solidified my decision to make this my last fight, coming up. I know that that took me out of title contention, and so for me to actually get back in the title hunt again would be a couple years’ worth of work.”

I’m 39. I’ll be 40 next year, and it’s getting to the point where it’s late in my (MMA) life, and it’s really too late to make that title run. So, I started questioning, like, what am I really fighting for if I can’t make it to the title anymore? I know I’m not in title contention anymore, and I realize that. That’s how it is.”

In reflection, Ace was a journeyman fighter who accomplished a great deal with the skills that he had; the biggest of which was his heart.

Rich made his first appearance in the UFC in April of 2003 at UFC 42, with a TKO victory and as against the very man that he’d rest the middleweight belt from two years later, Evan Tanner.

After seizing the belt in 2005, he successfully defended it twice, only to have it brutally taken away from in October of 2006, by the now legendary and infamous, Anderson Silva.

Of the pair, they fought twice, and in both instances, Silva, as challenger and champion, respectively, beat Rich in every physical sense of the word. At times in the fight, Rich looked like a deer caught in a set of headlights, frozen against the cage, and having no idea as how too defend Silva’s onslaughts; he had lost; both times; badly.

To a lot of Rich’s fans and even those that weren’t / aren’t, the pummelling that he took in those two fights was hard to watch and it was obvious both times round, that he was completely outclassed; as was the rest of the division for the next seven years. To the end of it, he never challenged for the title again and only managed to string together two 2 fight winning streaks, past his first loss to Silva. Beyond that, Rich has gone / went, win / lose, win / lose for the remainder of his career, with the last two being a win over Wanderlei Silva (UD) and a loss to Cung Le (R1 KO).

So now, and with his career all but said and done, Ace wants one last traipse to the Octagon and to hear the crowd call his name a final time (as is fitting), and with that, the question now becomes, who does the UFC give him?

As Rich would like a fighter with a name, the possibilities might be: Tim Kennedy / Costa Philippou / Mark Munoz or Michael Bisping. Of the four, perhaps, Philippou and Munoz are the best choices, because they are coming off of losses; as is Rich. Either way, it will be interesting to see who the promotion pairs him with.

Finally, most fans would probably concur that Rich was a solid fighter, but one that was swept aside by Anderson Silva’s tide and a newer, younger, more dynamic class that he simply can’t hang with.

Beyond that, fans would probably tell you that’s he’s one of the nicest guys that ever shadowed the Octagons canvas, and that he has been an amazing ambassador for the sport. That his, “awe shucks” demeanor and boyish charm, endeared him to MMA fans around the world, and that he’s stood an amazing inspiration to all that have and will, come after him. Further and as a humble teacher by profession, Rich has taught many who had never heard of our sport before, or who had viewed it as nothing but human cock fighting, that it’s a thing of beauty and something to be respected and admired, not derided. And that it’s populated by really great men and women, who could be anything from computer experts, to x-veterans, accountants and yes, even your local high school math teacher.

On behalf of all of Rich’s fans, we at LowKick thank him for all the thrills and we wish both he and his family nothing but the best; God Bless.

Outside picture courtesy of “unitedpersonalfitness.com


21 Comments

  1. Profile photo of enjoylife321

    enjoylife321

    November 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Rich deserves his spot in the HALL OF FAME….

  2. Profile photo of Garson

    Garson

    November 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I think people has been seen this coming for a while, never the less this is still sad news. Rich was always an entertaining fighter and a great person both inside and outside the cage. I hope he gets into the UFC Hall of Fame, not only for his fighting but for showing the world during the growth mma that you don't need to be a violent guy to enjoy mma.

  3. Profile photo of IGMBurninPiff

    IGMBurninPiff

    November 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Has anyone else ever sat and thought about how long Franklin could have stayed at the top of his Division had he not run into Anderson Silva? His record before was amazing. Clearly it was in the old days before these new breed of super fighters arrived, but Rich already was 1 of the more rounded fighters. Other than Dan Henderson, with Rich in his prime I give him the nod over alot of Anderson's opponents. Silva clearly took a little something from Franklin, but before that he was shining. Great guy, I do agree I see him in the HOF and the getting some sort of UFC job, he deserves it. Problem is UFC can't give all the Gentlemen from the early years cushy jobs. I personally wish Ace would replace Kenflo on announcing the FoxSports cards. I personally think Kenflo *****

    • Profile photo of Entity

      Entity

      November 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Damn you Anderson Silva….(shakes fist in the air) 8P

    • Profile photo of 51JD51

      51JD51

      November 24, 2013 at 3:30 am

      Henderson fought for the title after Silva/Franklin 2. Henderson and Franklin fought with Henderson winning a split decision. I know Franklin's got the advantage in a 5 round fight but he probably beats Lutter, Marquardt would've been a hell of a fight for him at the time but Franklin takes it then you've got Henderson lined up. so probably not an insanely long time but two more defenses certainly would look good.

  4. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    November 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Silva, that's an interesting thought about Rich as a "color guy". I think he'd very good, but taking Kenny's job…not sure that's going to happen; not to mention, Kenny does a pretty good job, ta boot.

    As to Rich and Anderson, I couldn't agree more.

    Aside for "The Spider", he'd have hung on there until, at least Belfort and perhaps all the way and up until, the new breed of Weidman, Souza, and the new Belfort, past the Silva loss.

    As you stated, Rich does well if not beats, a number of ranked fighters in the division and could easily become ranked, if he wished to put forth the effort. Sadly, as he has realized, he will never be champ or really even a serious contender; the metrics and his age, bare it out.

    If I could wish him one fight, it would be with Michale Bisping. I think that would be most fitting. The two have been in the promotion and division (together) for a long time, yet have never fought. It would be a reasonable and well paired match; both in style, records, time in etc.

    No matter what, Rich will exit with the love, respect and blessing of all MMA / UFC fans.

  5. Profile photo of 51JD51

    51JD51

    November 24, 2013 at 3:30 am

    Franklin vs Bisping for his final fight?

  6. Profile photo of Daviesman

    Daviesman

    November 24, 2013 at 3:56 am

    maaaa-aaaan, this news ***** but inevitable…time is no-one's friend. Rich will always be one of my top 3 favourite fighters if not number 1. A true poster-boy for the sport, i don't ever remember him being a bit-shh win or lose, always a classy gentleman (enter psy) and another thing i'll always remember, he never got taken down until after that first Anderson fight (i think)…he had that chicken-hop thing that made it near impossible to take him down, a skill i've only seen GSP nearly master until of late. Thankyou Mr.Franklin for some of the best fight's ever and for being part of the best erain UFC. Not to be inducted in the HOF would be a sin and i look forward to a ROUND 5 HOF figure to go alonside the other 2 Franklins i have (creepy 36 yr old with figures haha).

  7. Profile photo of watermelon fresh

    watermelon fresh

    November 24, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I would not say he's a journey man as the article says…. He was probably the 2nd best middleweight of his era. Now I don't know if he's a hall of fame either but since ufc hof is a joke, and bonnar made it there's no doubt Franklin is better than bonnar so Mma hof math says Franklin is in!!!

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