The day has finally come. Former UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin has officially hung up the gloves and has retired from competing in MMA.
In an excellent post on The Players’ Tribune Franklin revealed that he is retiring and tells his story from humble math teach to the early days of MMA before commissions right through to the modern day UFC.
“I fought in shows before athletic commissions really existed. We brought our own gloves … if we even wanted to use them. I fought in cages with torn chain links or broken floorboards, oftentimes in front of crowds at bars or fairgrounds of less than a few hundred people,” wrote Franklin.
At 40-years-old and coming up on three years since he last fought it seems almost expected and a forgone conclusion that ‘Ace’ would hang up his gloves. However, when one of the Old Guards officially announces his retirement it hits home.
Although I’ll never forgive Franklin for making the first half of 2005 a misery for me as fan, when he beat personal favourites Ken Shamrock and Evan Tanner back-to-back, I will still remember his fights, and his walkouts, with great fondness. His knockout of Nate Quarry, his battle with Wanderlei Silva and I even had the pleasure of watching him fight in person when he main evented UFC 93 in Dublin against Dan Henderson.
Franklin finished off the post with the following:
“Many years ago, I was just a guy chasing his dream. Today, I stand here humbled and appreciative of where that pursuit took me. God bless!”
You can read the full piece here.