The UFC has lost several of its biggest names to retirement in recent years, and it looks as though Rich Franklin will soon be joining the likes of Chuck Liddell, Matt Huges and Forrest Griffin, among several others.
While appearing on the latest edition of AXS TV’s “Inside MMA”, the 39 year-old Franklin announced that his next bout will be the last of his storied career (comments transcribe via MMA Mania.com):
“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.”
Franklin is referring to the brutal knockout loss he suffered versus Cung Le at UFC on FUEL TV 6, which went down last November. Prior to the defeat the former middleweight champ had worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 in June, 2012. Franklin’s pro debut took place way back in 1999…
Not long ago, UFC President Dana White relayed had this to say about Franklin’s future in fighting:
“When guys get to a certain age, my question becomes, ‘Why? Why go in and fight a guy?’ I know you love it. I know this is who you are and everything else, but if he does this juice bar thing and it takes off and he makes millions of dollars, good for him. I’d rather that happen.”
So, considering what Franklin has done for the UFC over the years, one would think the promotion will book him for one more scrap. It will be interesting to see who Franklin wants to meet, and whether the UFC’s on board. Thoughts?