Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin hasn’t stepped in the Octagon in nearly two years. His last outing saw him lose via KO to Cung Le back in November of 2012.
‘Ace’, who is now the Vice President of ONE FC, and knows that if he plans on fighting again, he needs to pull the trigger soon.
He spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour saying:
“Listen, my fight career and my career with ONE FC are separate. I’m obviously a contracted fighter with the UFC and there’s no question from you about this, but if I fight again it’d obviously have to be with UFC. I get questions all the time about am I fighting for ONE FC? Am I going to fight for them? And I can’t. I’m contracted with the UFC.
“I still train. I train basically daily still. I don’t let myself fall out of shape from my reputation and the kind of work ethic I had. That stuff just doesn’t go away, so I’m constantly doing the things I need to do. There are days where I wake up and I’m very hungry to fight, but I have a job here and I just spent three and a half weeks out of the country. Juggling things is going to become ever so difficult for me. So, if it’s something that I am going to do, I really need to make that decision. I’m coming up on two years out of the cage inactive. You just made a comment to Michael Chandler about three years out of the cage and the ring rust and all that kind of stuff. Don’t think that these factors that I think about, that they’re not in the back of my head somewhere. But in theory, I would love to take my last fight.”
“I don’t look back and I don’t have regrets or anything or unfinished business. I’ve never felt like the kind of person that needed to avenge a loss because I can avenge a loss if I want to, but it never erases that loss anyway, so it’s still there. I’m satisfied with the things that I’ve accomplished in my career. If I were never able to fight again, I would be OK.
“I’m fortunate in the sense that, mentally, I’m capable of moving on to a phase in my life and not hanging on to something when I’m physically not capable of hanging on. I believe my body is physically good enough to run another fight camp if not a couple more fight camps if I wanted to, but I am at that point where it’s like, ‘eh’. If I do one more fight, that definitely will be my last fight. I would not be the kind of fighter that would announce retirement and then decide a year later to come out of retirement.”
“Honestly, I think of just some sort of epic battle. I look at my fight against Wanderlei [Silva], for example, both of them. They were great fights, very entertaining. The kind of fight that had you on the edge of your seat. That’s what I would look for, some sort of match up like that. Something that the fans would want to see and I would want to go out in style, so to speak.”
“When you look at that era of fighters, my era of fighters – the Wanderleis, the Randys, the Dan Hendersons, the Matt Hugheses – we are a dying breed. If I fight again, I’m kinda like The Last of the Mohicans, so to speak.”
Do you want to see the former champion return for one last fight?