It's been a year since Rich Franklin last stood in the Octagon. A former Ultimate FIghting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion, Franklin has always been one of the most well-rounded fighters on the roster. His opponent Cung Le, was the former Strikeforce Middleweight champion.
It took Le just over two minutes to land the punch that put Franklin to sleep. Since that fight in Macau, Franklin has stayed out of the public eye. Once a face of the promotion, Franklin is now a man whose best days are clearly behind him.
The 39 year old appeared on Friday night's (Nov. 22, 2013) episode of Inside MMA on AXS Television and spoke with hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten about his future as a fighter. Needless to say, he's starting to plan his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition.
"You know, I lost my last fight, and that really kind of solidified my decision to make this my last fight coming up. I know that took me out of title contention and so for me to get back into the title hunt would be a couple years' worth of work and I know that. I'm 39, I'll be 40 next year and it's getting to the point where it's late in my life and it's really too late to have that title run so I started questioning, 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 so, that's how it is."
His UFC career has spanned a decade. In that time he's been middleweight champion as well as a contender at light heavyweight. He was given the honor of fighting in the main event of the first Ultimate Fighter Finale as well as the opportunity to coach on the show twice.
But more importantly, in those 10 years, Franklin built up a reputation as the perfect company man. Whenever the UFC needed a headliner or a big name fighter to step up on short notice, it was Franklin who got the call and ultimately took the fight.
So Maniacs, with his next fight being his last, who is the opponent you want to see "Ace" face before retirement? Sound off!