“I get asked that question all the time, ‘how does it feel to be the guy that retired Chuck Liddell?’ and you’re right in what you said, (Chuck’s retirement) was the culmination of a lot of events. It wasn’t just me that retired Chuck Liddell. There were several other fights and I’m sure he had talks with his doctors and all of that kind of stuff, and those factors came into play. I don’t crown myself as having that honor or anything like that,” Franklin told MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday.
“Chuck Liddell that’s a name that’s just synonymous with success in the UFC and to have a win over somebody like that and to just be able to step in the Octagon with somebody like that is a great honor. Chuck’s a friend of mine. He’s a class act guy.”
“My time in this sport is limited. I’m 36 years old. I’m not going to fight till I’m like 50 like Randy is, I don’t know how the heck he does it. It’s just amazing. I realize my time is limited, and it’s going to get more and more difficult to keep up with these younger guys. These Jon Joneses and the Ryan Baders and stuff like that, these are guys that are in their early thirties and the UFC has been around basically ever since they can remember. The first UFC that I ever saw, the first UFC that ever took place for me was my senior year of high school and I was 18 years old basically.”
“When you’re 22 years old you have this feeling of invincibility as if you’re super human, and really when you get injured when you’re 22 years old, when you’re young like that, you bounce back quickly. You bounce back quickly from hard workouts. I’m 36 years old now and my body just doesn’t respond that way it did when you’re 22. It’s a scientific fact, that’s just how things are.”
“When things like getting poked in the eye happen to you, it makes you start to think about things. I don’t have any problems with my vision, never have. I was born with great eyesight. I’ve had perfect vision, 20/15 vision, and I’ve never had issues with my eyes of any kind. So when my eye got poked like that and the severity of that injury to me, I mean, I was seeing double vision and there was a chance it was going to effect my vision in that eye permanently for the rest of my life, you begin to think about things.
“It’s one thing to break an arm and to be in a cast or something for eight to 10 weeks, or I broke my hand and I had to get surgery and I had to get a plate in my hand, and that plate is permanent. There is a difference between that and something like an eye injury and when you have stuff happen to you like eye injuries, you really start to think to yourself ‘what would I really do if that one eye was messed up?’ regardless of if I wanted to fight anymore, I would never be able to. I would never get approved by any athletic commission and I wouldn’t be able to pass a vision test and so my life would change forever.”
“You start thinking about those kinds of things as you start getting older, your health, and all that kind of stuff,” said Franklin. “I’m one of those guys I want to be able to play a game of full court basketball when I’m in my fifties or something like that. I know that my body is still in great shape. I wake up and I feel great in the mornings when I get up, but if there comes a day where I start to feel run down physically, I’ll know that it’s time for me to kind of pull the curtains.”
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