Any fighter who holds a 26-4 record and was once the UFC middleweight championship would certainly consider their career a resounding success. For Rich Franklin he can leave the sport with his head held high at any point from here on in. Some say his career has been marked by an inability to win the big one.
Franklin has been one of the UFC’s poster boys since their epic explosion following the first Ultimate Fighter Finale. It was on that show where he defeated UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock via brutal first round TKO and announced that he was here to make an impact. Being chosen as one of the two coaches on the follow-up season only enhanced his value. Up until that point he had lost only one fight to a relatively unknown Lyoto Machida on a New Year’s Eve card in Japan in 2003.
In June of 2005 he defeated Evan Tanner for the second time in a bout for the UFC middleweight championship. His first defense came against Nate Quarry and he won via first round knockout. Franklin would defend the title for a second time against David Loiseau in a five round war just four months later. He was now 21-1 and facing a stiff test in Anderson Silva.
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