Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) coach, and all-around good guy, Rich Franklin, has retired from the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) at the age of 40.
"Ace" hasn't been seen since going stiff against Cung Le in Macau, China, way back in Nov. 2012. While he planned on satisfying the final fight on his ZUFFA contract, it appears the former math teacher has instead decided to walk away with his wits intact.
From The Player's Tribune:
"This comes at a time when I have to accept that I am no longer 25. The body has slowed down, and while ever so slightly, those fractions of a difference determine victory or defeat at the top level. So what will I miss the most from this journey? I can close my eyes and picture myself pacing the hallway before I walk out to the arena. I can hear the crowd cheering for me when For Those About To Rock begins. Then I make my way to the cage. So, where do I go from here? In my mind, the sky is the limit! I decided I didn't want to announce "retirement", rather, I am announcing that I have closed one chapter of my life and begun another. I am blessed to continue working in an industry I helped build. I will continue to do great things with ONE Championship. 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!"
I suppose it beats this.
Franklin, perhaps best known for painfully passing the 185-pound torch to Anderson Silva (ouch), has been spending his days as an executive for ONE Championship in Singapore, where he is helping the international combat sports promotion develop new territory while grooming new fighters.
With that in mind, your favorite Rich Franklin memory is...