Franklin steps up as UFC’s Germany spokesman


rich franklin was not surprised by a lack of understanding about mixed martial arts by German journalists. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is putting on a show in the country for the first time, and many in the media have had little exposure to the sport.

So the former high school math teacher, one of the UFC’s biggest stars and brightest minds, knew he’d have some educating to do. Franklin, though, never anticipated the firestorm that awaited him when he arrived in Cologne last week to make final preparations for his main event bout against Wanderlei Silva on Saturday at UFC 99 in Lanxess Arena.

City officials restricted entrance to the event to adults, 18 and older. The media, which Franklin had found in a March promotional tour to be open-minded if lacking understanding, had been whipped into a frenzy, as if the fight card might somehow signal the beginning of the end of civilized society.

One newspaper in Frankfurt reported that the fighters competed with bare hands and that fighting to the death was within the rules. The UFC had to resort to sending legal letters to numerous news outlets demanding corrections or retractions.

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