White: Franklin could fight in UFC despite ONE FC job

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, 39, has opened up an organic juice bar in Beverly Hills, got called out by Chael Sonnen, appears to be the new VP at ONE FC, and has one fight left on his UFC contract.

The final two appear to be contradictory. Serving as the public face in America of a rival MMA promotion would appear to be an entirely incompatible with taking a high-profile fight in the UFC.

However, at the UFC on FOX 11 post-fight media scrum, UFC president Dana White appeared open to the idea.

“He's still under contract to fight, if he ever wanted to fight,” said White as transcribed by Chuck Mindenhall for MMAFighting. “You know, we have a good relationship with Rich. Rich got offered a really good opportunity to go work with those guys and I'm happy for him.

“There's nothing wrong if you come and ask and say…hey listen, how can be upset with a guy for trying to better his life or taking a great opportunity somewhere? You can't. It's the sneaky guys that lie to your face and all that stuff.”

“It's not like if he takes this job that's it, we'll never have him fight in the UFC again. If he came back and wanted to fight he's still under contract with us, and he hasn't officially retired. Rich is out there making some moves. He started a business, he's got this business that he's running and he's putting all his time, effort and money into it, but he needs another source of income for more money to come in. So these guys gave him a huge opportunity and he's going to take it.”