Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin (29-7-1) announced his retirement from the UFC earlier today. It really couldn’t have come at a better time either. Franklin had a .500 record from 2008 to 2012 where he won 4 and lost 4. He last competed in a losing effort to former Strikforce Middleweight Champion and movie star Cung Le at UFC on Fuel TV 6 via first round KO. Before that he defeated former Pride Light Heavyweight Champion Wanderlei Silva in a rematch of their UFC 99 main event bout, winning again by unanimous decision only this time going 5 rounds instead of 3 in yet again a main event at UFC 147.
Franklin, who now serves as vice president of the Singapore-based ONE Championship promotion, wrote about it:
I was joking with my mom a few weeks ago pretending that I was negotiating a final fight. I found out the next day she had not slept a wink that night.
“We’ve had our battles and done our duty,” she said.
I thought it was interesting how she used words like “our”. I have learned that my friends, family, coaches, training partners and even my fans shared the joy of my victories. It was as if they stepped into the cage with me for every fight. However, they also suffered the disappointment of my losses.
My mother was right, though, and it reminded me of Paul’s words in 2nd Timothy 4:7: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith …” 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.”
Franklin won the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 53 by defeating Evan Tanner in the 4th round by way of doctor stoppage. He defended against Nate Quarry and Canadian standout David “The Crow” Loiseau. He knocked out Quarry in the first round at 56 and won a Unanimous Decision over Loiseau at UFC 58.
He lost his belt at UFC 64 via 1st Round TKO to Anderson Silva. He worked his way back to a title opportunity by defeating Jason McDonald via TKO at UFC 68 and winning a decision at UFC 72 over Yushin Okami.
However it wasn’t in the cards for the former Oak Hills Highschool teacher to be a UFC champion again as he lost his rematch in his home state to Anderson Silva again, this time via second round TKO at UFC 77.
He then competed back and forth at 185, catchweight and at 205 in a series of super-fights to close out his career.