Former UFC Champ Rich Franklin Handcuffed at Airport

Former UFC Middleweight Champion and current ONE FC Vice-President Rich Franklin was a victim of apparent mistaken identity on Tuesday when he was handcuffed and led through Los Angeles (LAX) Airport.

The now retired UFC veteran was travelling back from Singapore where he works with Asia’s biggest MMA promotion, ONE FC. After landing he was due to spend an hour at LAX before taking a connecting flight to his home in Ohio. However, the notoriously over-zealous American airport security had other ideas and, after walking through the incoming queue at customs, he was handcuffed and marched to a secure room without any explanation.

Franklin is no stranger to enduring problems at airports as he shares a name with a wanted felon, however, the usual additional checks he’s used to performing did not seem to satisfy airport officials on this occasion, as Franklin explained to ESPN:

“…..Today was no different, this female officer asked me a couple questions about how often I travel out of the country and I had just come back through the country from Asia less than two months ago through LAX so the next thing I know she stands up and looks at another guy and says ’10:15′ and I thought that was odd because it wasn’t 10:15 but it was close enough at the time that I thought she was just giving him the time. Long story short, the other patrol officer – and this is at immigration in front of several hundred people, who have now gotten off the plane – the other officer gets out of his booth and handcuffs me. Hands behind my back, handcuffs me.”

Franklin spent some time in a locked room unable to get clear answers about why he had been detained. However, it proved simply another case of mistaken identity, albeit a far more embarrassing example, after he was led handcuffed past a number of fans for whom he had moments before signed autographs.

ONE FC are returning to China this Saturday for ‘Dynasty of Champions: Beijing II‘.

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