On Monday, the UFC former middleweight champion Rich Franklin published a poignant farewell article on The Players Tribune. Though he didn’t say he was retiring in the article, it was a matter of semantics — the 40-year-old Franklin wrote that he was closing one chapter of his life and beginning another.
Franklin, who is currently the vice president of the Asia-based promotion, ONE Championship, was instrumental in helping the UFC — and the sport of MMA — get over to the masses. The former math teacher-turned-cagefighter was exactly the right spokesman the UFC needed to change opinions on what kinds of people fight in the cage.
He appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour to talk about his decision to hang up the gloves.
“Well, it’s been a couple of years since I was in the cage, and I’ve been saying all along that I planned on fulfilling that contract by doing that last fight, but I guess the timing now really came up,” he told Ariel Helwani. “I turn 41 in a week, and you start looking at things and realize like — in the time I’ve been out of the cage and I’ve turned 41, maybe it is time to actually hang up the gloves and move onto something else. Which is what I said when I was writing it.
“I’m not announcing my retirement, I’m just announcing that I’ve closing one chapter of my life and starting another.”
Franklin, who defended the 185-pound championship twice between 2005-2006 against Nate Quarry and David Loiseau, has ever been expanding on his career in the martial arts. He has been involved in a couple of different companies, the latest — Armor Gel — which helps heal wounds and soothe irritated skin.