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Rich Franklin

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Rich Franklin
Franklin in 2014
BornRichard Jay Franklin II
(1974-10-05) October 5, 1974 (age 49)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Other namesAce
ResidenceWest Chester, Ohio, U.S.[1]
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Light heavyweight
Reach76 in (190 cm)
Fighting out ofCincinnati, Ohio, United States
TeamTeam Extreme/The JG MMA and Fitness Academy Evolve MMA
TrainerMatt Hume
Jorge Gurgel
Joel Jamieson
John Cross
RankBlack belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Jorge Gurgel
Years active1999–2015 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout20
By submission5
By decision4
By knockout5
By decision2
No contests1
Amateur record
By submission1
By knockout1
Other information
UniversityUniversity of Cincinnati
Beth Franklin
(m. 2002; div. 2011)
Notable school(s)William Henry Harrison High
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Last updated on: September 16, 2011 (2011-09-16)

Richard Jay Franklin II (born October 5, 1974)[2] is an American businessman and retired mixed martial artist. He is best known for competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame and a former UFC Middleweight Champion. Franklin has been the Vice President of Singaporean combat sports promotion ONE Championship since May 2014. Rich attended William Henry Harrison High School in the city of Harrison, Ohio and was a mathematics teacher at Oak Hills High School in Bridgetown, Ohio before turning professional in MMA.


Franklin was born to Richard Sr. and Vaila Franklin. The couple divorced when Franklin was five years old. He has one biological brother, Greg, and five half-siblings.[3][4]

Franklin graduated from William Henry Harrison High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and later earned a master's degree in education at the University of Cincinnati.[5] He taught mathematics at the Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.[6]

His nickname, "Ace," comes from his resemblance to the actor Jim Carrey, who played the character Ace Ventura. Joe Rogan once called Franklin "Angry Jim Carrey".

Franklin is a born-again Christian and quotes Psalm 144:1 on his webpage and fighter gear.

February 21, 2006 was officially named "Rich Franklin Day" in Cincinnati by the city's mayor.[7]


American Fighter

In 2002, Franklin and his business partner, Jeff Adler, created the American Fighter athletic clothing brand. The brand featured t-shirts, but quickly grew to feature a full line of athletic training clothing, casual wear, and training gear for martial arts. In 2012, Affliction Clothing expressed interest in the name and its widespread appeal. They acquired the majority of the company and brought the brand to mainstream retailers, where it continues to grow.


In October 2013, Franklin and friend and business partner, Billy Zebe, launched Ze/Lin Organic Juice & Fusion Café in Beverly Hills, California. It closed nine months later and the company focused on wholesaling and distribution for the bottled juices.

ONE Championship

In May 2014, Franklin signed on as a vice president in the ONE Championship organization, a Singapore-based combat sports promotion which officially launched on July 14, 2011.[8] Franklin serves as a face of the brand and travels throughout the US and Asia hosting seminars and speaking engagements, promoting fights, and working with the fighters. He hosts Rich Franklin's ONE Warrior Series, where he recruits up-and-coming martial artists for the promotion.[9]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

According to Franklin, he first learned karate at the Harrison Okinawan Karate Dojo in the early 1990s under Bill George and Steve Rafferty. He also studied submission fighting from instructional video tapes. He has been associated with and trained with Meat Truck, Inc. and currently trains at facilities run by Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jorge Gurgel (New Generation Martial Arts), Neal Rowe, a Muay Thai instructor (Sacan Martial Arts), and Rob Radford, a boxing instructor (Boxing 4 Fitness).

Franklin is currently ranked as a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Jorge Gurgel, which he earned on October 11, 2014. After losing his title to Anderson Silva, Franklin started training under Matt "The Wizard" Hume.

UFC career[edit]

Franklin began his UFC career with a perfect 3–0 start, including a victory over MMA veteran Evan Tanner at UFC 42, Edwin Dewees at UFC 44, and Jorge Rivera at UFC 50.

On April 5, 2005, Franklin fought in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale, which was the first live UFC card on free cable TV. He faced former UFC champion Ken Shamrock. Franklin defeated Shamrock by TKO at 2:42 of the first round, becoming the first person to stop Shamrock via strikes. The win established Franklin as one of the UFC's biggest stars[10] and ensured him a title opportunity.

Middleweight title[edit]

A title shot came at UFC 53 on June 5, 2005. Franklin defeated Evan Tanner for a second time to win the UFC Middleweight Championship. The victory led to Franklin being named a coach, along with welterweight champion Matt Hughes, on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter.

At UFC 56 on November 19, 2005, Franklin defended his title against Nate Quarry, a competitor from season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter. Franklin won the fight via a first-round knockout.

At UFC 58 on March 4, 2006, Franklin defeated David Loiseau in a unanimous five-round decision to retain his title. Franklin broke his left hand early in the second round. The injury required surgery, including a metal plate and screws, and Franklin was out of action for six months.

Losing the title[edit]

At UFC 64 on October 14, 2006, Franklin lost his title to Anderson Silva. Their fight was stopped by TKO (knees) at 2:49 of the first round after Franklin received a knee to the face. Franklin was caught in a clinch by Silva and received a flurry of knees and kicks that rendered him unable to continue. On October 19, Franklin underwent surgery due to a nasal fracture he received during the fight.

Franklin made his return at UFC 68 on March 3, 2007 against Jason MacDonald. Franklin showed superior striking during the fight, mounted MacDonald in the closing seconds of the second round, and caused significant injury and swelling around MacDonald's left eye. MacDonald's corner advised ending the fight and Franklin was declared the winner by TKO (corner stoppage) between rounds. After the fight, Franklin called Anderson Silva to the octagon and said that he and Dana White had agreed to a fight for the title in Franklin's hometown of Cincinnati.

Return to contention[edit]

Franklin fought world ranked Yushin Okami at UFC 72 in Belfast, Northern Ireland on June 16, 2007. Franklin defeated the top middleweight contender by unanimous decision to be officially announced as the number one contender for Silva's middleweight title. The bout was only his second overall fight to go the full distance (due to being a non-title fight, it was three rounds). All three judges scored the bout 29–28 to Franklin. He also became the first person to fight in a UFC main event in Northern Ireland.

Franklin fought Silva for a second time at UFC 77 on October 20, 2007. Prior to the bout, he signed a six-fight contract with the UFC. Silva was able to effectively neutralize Franklin in the clinch, eventually defeating the former champion via TKO (knees) at 1:07 of the second round.

After his second loss to Anderson, Franklin began making regular trips to Seattle, WA to train with Matt Hume of AMC Pankration. At UFC 83 on April 19, 2008, Franklin faced Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Travis Lutter. During the bout, Lutter was able to secure a tight, high-level armbar, though Franklin was able to escape and go on to win the bout via TKO (strikes) at 3:01 of round two.

Move to Light Heavyweight[edit]

At UFC 88 on Sept. 6, 2008, Franklin made his return to the light heavyweight division against close friend and training partner Matt Hamill. Franklin won by TKO following a kick to Hamill's liver, which prompted the referee to call a stop to the fight at 0:39 of round three.

Franklin faced former PRIDE welterweight and middleweight champion Dan Henderson at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland on January 17, 2009 and lost by controversial split decision. Franklin became the first person to fight in a UFC main event in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

At UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany on June 13, 2009, Franklin defeated former Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision at a catchweight of 195 lbs. Franklin became the first person to fight in the UFC in four different countries in four consecutive fights.

At UFC 103 on September 19, 2009, Franklin lost to former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort. This was Belfort's first bout in the UFC since February 2005. After a lengthy feeling-out process, Belfort connected with a left hook that dropped Franklin, and followed up with a flurry of left hands that ended the contest via TKO at 3:02 in the first round. Though it was logged as a clear win for Belfort, there was discussion over multiple illegal blows to the back of Franklin's head.

Rich Franklin vs. Chuck Liddell at UFC 115

Franklin was rumored to face multiple-time UFC champion Randy Couture at UFC 115, but was eventually confirmed to face former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell on June 12, 2010, following the withdrawal of Liddell's original opponent, Tito Ortiz. During the contest, Liddell showed improved striking from that seen in his recent fights, and more proficient kicks. In the final seconds of the opening round, Liddell connected with a head kick and moved forward to attack a stunned Franklin, only to be knocked out by a compact counter right hand at 4:55 of the round. During the post-fight press conference, Franklin confirmed that his left forearm had been broken by a head kick Liddell threw during the middle of the round. The injury did not require surgery, which allowed Franklin to recover faster.

Franklin faced former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin on February 5, 2011 at UFC 126[11] and lost via unanimous decision.

Franklin was scheduled to face Antônio Rogério Nogueira at UFC 133 on August 6, 2011 in Philadelphia.[12] Nogueira was forced out of the bout due to a shoulder injury.[13] Unable to find a suitable replacement on short notice, the UFC pulled Franklin from the card.[14]

Franklin faced Wanderlei Silva in a rematch, replacing Vitor Belfort, who suffered a hand injury, in the main event at catchweight on June 23, 2012 at UFC 147.[15] Franklin won the fight via unanimous decision, with both participants earning Fight of the Night honors for their performances.

Return to Middleweight[edit]

Franklin returned to the middleweight division against former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le on November 10, 2012 in the main event at UFC on Fuel TV 6.[16] He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.

Retirement from MMA[edit]

After teasing the possibility of one more MMA fight before retiring, Franklin instead announced his retirement on September 28, 2015.[17] He penned a column on theplayerstribune.com explaining that a recent conversation with his mother helped make the decision, along with the understanding that “his body has slowed down.”[18]

During the April 13, 2019 broadcast of UFC 236, it was announced that Franklin would be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.[19]

Film career[edit]

Franklin made his acting debut in a film called Cyborg Soldier, in which he played an escaped super soldier and partnered with Tiffani Thiessen. In 2010, he starred in The Hammer, a story inspired by the life of deaf UFC fighter Matt Hamill. Franklin played MMA Coach Billings in the 2014 comedy Mantervention.[20][21]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
37 matches 29 wins 7 losses
By knockout 20 5
By submission 5 0
By decision 4 2
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 29–7 (1) Cung Le KO (punch) UFC on Fuel TV: Franklin vs. Le November 10, 2012 1 2:17 Macau, SAR, China Return to Middleweight.
Win 29–6 (1) Wanderlei Silva Decision (unanimous) UFC 147 June 23, 2012 5 5:00 Belo Horizonte, Brazil Catchweight (190 lbs) bout. Fight of the Night.
Loss 28–6 (1) Forrest Griffin Decision (unanimous) UFC 126 February 5, 2011 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 28–5 (1) Chuck Liddell KO (punch) UFC 115 June 12, 2010 1 4:55 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Knockout of the Night.
Loss 27–5 (1) Vitor Belfort TKO (punches) UFC 103 September 19, 2009 1 3:02 Dallas, Texas, United States Catchweight (195 lbs) bout.
Win 27–4 (1) Wanderlei Silva Decision (unanimous) UFC 99 June 13, 2009 3 5:00 Cologne, Germany Catchweight (195 lbs) bout. Fight of the Night.
Loss 26–4 (1) Dan Henderson Decision (split) UFC 93 January 17, 2009 3 5:00 Dublin, Ireland
Win 26–3 (1) Matt Hamill TKO (kick to the body) UFC 88 September 6, 2008 3 0:39 Atlanta, Georgia, United States Return to Light Heavyweight.
Win 25–3 (1) Travis Lutter TKO (punches) UFC 83 April 19, 2008 2 3:01 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Loss 24–3 (1) Anderson Silva TKO (knees) UFC 77 October 20, 2007 2 1:07 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States For the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Win 24–2 (1) Yushin Okami Decision (unanimous) UFC 72 June 16, 2007 3 5:00 Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom UFC Middleweight title eliminator.
Win 23–2 (1) Jason MacDonald TKO (corner stoppage) UFC 68 March 3, 2007 2 5:00 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Loss 22–2 (1) Anderson Silva KO (knee) UFC 64 October 14, 2006 1 2:59 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lost the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Win 22–1 (1) David Loiseau Decision (unanimous) UFC 58 March 4, 2006 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Middleweight Championship. Broke the record for the most consecutive UFC Middleweight Championship title defenses (2).
Win 21–1 (1) Nate Quarry KO (punch) UFC 56 November 19, 2005 1 2:34 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Win 20–1 (1) Evan Tanner TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 53 June 4, 2005 4 3:25 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won the UFC Middleweight Championship; Won coaches position on The Ultimate Fighter 2.
Win 19–1 (1) Ken Shamrock TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale April 9, 2005 1 2:42 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Light Heavyweight bout.
Win 18–1 (1) Curtis Stout TKO (submission to punches) SuperBrawl 38 December 12, 2004 2 1:28 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 17–1 (1) Jorge Rivera Submission (armbar) UFC 50 October 22, 2004 3 4:28 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Middleweight debut.
Win 16–1 (1) Ralph Dillon Submission (kimura) Alaska Fighting Championship July 14, 2004 1 0:56 Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Win 15–1 (1) Leo Sylvest TKO (submission to punches) SuperBrawl 35 April 16, 2004 1 1:13 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Loss 14–1 (1) Lyoto Machida TKO (head kick and punches) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 December 31, 2003 2 1:03 Kobe, Japan Catchweight (214 lbs) bout.
Win 14–0 (1) Edwin Dewees TKO (punches and knees) UFC 44 September 26, 2003 1 3:32 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 13–0 (1) Roberto Ramirez KO (punch) Battleground 1: War Cry July 19, 2003 1 0:10 Villa Park, Illinois, United States
Win 12–0 (1) Evan Tanner TKO (punches) UFC 42 April 25, 2003 1 2:40 Miami, Florida, United States UFC debut.
Win 11–0 (1) Antony Rea TKO (punches) UCC Hawaii: Eruption in Hawaii September 17, 2002 1 2:46 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 10–0 (1) Yan Pellerin Submission (armbar) UCC 10: Battle for the Belts 2002 June 15, 2002 1 3:23 Hull, Quebec, Canada
Win 9–0 (1) Marvin Eastman Submission (armbar) World Fighting Alliance 1 November 3, 2001 1 1:02 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–0 (1) Dennis Reed TKO (submission to punches) Extreme Challenge Trials August 5, 2001 1 1:38 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Win 7–0 (1) Chris Seifert TKO (submission to punches) Extreme Challenge 41 July 13, 2001 2 1:45 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 6–0 (1) Travis Fulton TKO (broken hand) Rings USA: Battle of Champions March 17, 2001 1 5:00 Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States
NC 5–0 (1) Aaron Brink No Contest (accidental foot injury) IFC: Warriors Challenge 11 January 13, 2001 1 2:42 Fresno, California, United States For the IFC Light Heavyweight United States Championship. Originally ruled an injury TKO victory for Franklin, changed to NC because Brink's foot got caught between the mat and the cage fence.
Win 5–0 Dennis Reed Submission (armbar) Extreme Challenge 35 June 29, 2000 1 1:56 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 4–0 Gary Myers KO (head kick) WEF 9: World Class May 13, 2000 3 0:59 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Win 3–0 Rob Smith TKO (punches) Extreme Challenge 31 March 24, 2000 1 2:30 Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Win 2–0 Eugene Pinault TKO (submission to punches) Extreme Challenge: Trials October 4, 1999 1 1:27 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 1–0 Michael Martin KO (head kick) World Extreme Fighting 6 June 19, 1999 1 0:21 Wheeling, West Virginia, United States

Pay-Per-View Bouts[edit]

No. Fight Event City Venue PPV Buys
1. Franklin vs. Quarry UFC 56 Las Vegas, Nevada MGM Grand Arena 200,000[23]
2. Franklin vs. Loiseau UFC 58 Las Vegas, Nevada Mandalay Bay Events Center 300,000[24]
3. Silva vs. Franklin UFC 64 Las Vegas, Nevada Mandalay Bay Events Center 300,000[25]
4. Franklin vs. Okami UFC 72 Belfast, Northern Ireland Odyssey Complex 200,000[26]
5. Silva vs. Franklin 2 UFC 77 Cincinnati, Ohio Heritage Bank Center 325,000[27]
6. Franklin vs. Henderson UFC 93 Dublin, Ireland 3Arena 350,000[28]
7. Franklin vs. Silva UFC 99 Cologne, Germany Lanxess Arena 365,000[29]
8. Franklin vs. Belfort UFC 103 Dallas, Texas American Airlines Center 375,000[30]
9. Liddell vs. Franklin UFC 115 Vancouver, British Columbia Rogers Arena 520,000[31]
10 Silva vs. Franklin II UFC 147 Belo Horizonte, Brazil Mineirinho Arena 175,000[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rich Franklin changing focus, not retiring Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Fighter Profile at Fightline.com". Archived from the original on January 4, 2010.
  3. ^ "No More Mr. Nice Guy". Cincinnatimagazine.com. July 1, 2007. Retrieved January 5, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Greg Franklin, the brother of UFC superstar Rich Franklin, made his UFC debut of sorts last night in Memphis as a referee for several fights on the prelim card". Bloodyelbow.xom. December 13, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  5. ^ "Rich Franklin Talks About the Unseen Side of MMA". Kickboxing.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2009.
  6. ^ "My Most Dangerous Opponent". Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2009.
  7. ^ Hardin, Marc. "Rich Franklin changing focus, not retiring". The Enquirer. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "Former UFC champ Rich Franklin officially joins ONE FC as executive". MMAjunkie.com. May 28, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  9. ^ "What is UFC legend Rich Franklin's role in ONE Championship?". Sportskeeda. April 8, 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  10. ^ "Defining Moments - Rich Franklin". www.ufc.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  11. ^ "Rich Franklin vs. Forrest Griffin Fight Planned for Feb. 5 UFC Card". mmafighting.com. October 5, 2010.
  12. ^ "Rogerio Nogueira vs. Rich Franklin Latest Addition to UFC 133 in Philly". Mmaweekly.com | Ufc and Mma News, Results, Rumors, and Videos. MMAWeekly.com. April 22, 2011.
  13. ^ "Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Off UFC 133 with Injury, UFC Looking for Replacement". MMAFrenzy.com. July 16, 2011.
  14. ^ "With Nogueira out, Franklin also scratched from August's UFC 133 event". MMAjunkie.com. July 17, 2011. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  15. ^ "Rich Franklin steps into UFC 147 headliner against Wanderlei Silva". mmajunkie.com. May 30, 2012. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  16. ^ Burke, Tim (August 5, 2012). "Rich Franklin Vs. Cung Le Set For UFC On Fuel 6 Main Event In Macau". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  17. ^ Dave Doyle (September 28, 2015). "Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin officially retires". mmafighting.com. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  18. ^ "Rich Franklin changing focus, not retiring". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  19. ^ Raimondi, Marc (April 13, 2019). "Rich Franklin to be inducted into UFC Hall of Fame". MMA Fighting. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  20. ^ "'Mantervention' Official Site". Scatena & Rosner Films. December 20, 2013. Archived from the original on January 22, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  21. ^ Burke, Tim (August 5, 2013). "'Mantervention' on IMDb". IMDb.com. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  22. ^ "Imagining an MMA Hall of Fame: Best of the Rest - Rich Franklin".
  23. ^ "UFC 56: Full Force | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  24. ^ "UFC 58: USA vs Canada | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  25. ^ "UFC 64: Unstoppable | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  26. ^ "UFC 72: Victory | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  27. ^ "UFC 77: Hostile Territory | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  28. ^ "UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  29. ^ "UFC 99: The Comeback | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  30. ^ "UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  31. ^ "UFC 115: Liddell vs Franklin | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  32. ^ "UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin 2 | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved November 14, 2022.

External links[edit]

Preceded by 4th UFC Middleweight Champion
June 4, 2005 – October 14, 2006
Succeeded by