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5/9/13 7:50 AM
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Rich Frankin started fighting in the 90s, and won the UFC middleweight championship in 2005, against Evan Tanner. 16 months later Anderson Silva happened. A year later he fought Silva again, with that same result - they seemed to be fighting in different dimensions - Rich Franklin in the world as we know it, and Silva in something like The Matrix.

Frankin fought on, going 5-4 since, the latest a first round loss to Cung Le late last year. Rather than a march towards another title shot, Franklin fought exciting fights, not necessarily even in his weight division.

"I was just kind of fighting where the UFC wanted me to be," said Franklin. "It did get weird."

'Ace' turns 39 in October, and wants to retire soon, which has some hard implications for his career.

"I swore to myself I wouldn't be fighting into my 40s," said Franklin. "I've kind of come to the conclusion that there's not time to fight for the title again."

"If I spent two years doing the kind of training that it would take, I'd run my body into the ground. I'd be that guy who can't run up and down a basketball court anymore, and that's not what I want to do to myself."

"If I was five years younger I would make another run at the title."

"Mentally, I want to be there. But physically, it's not going to happen."

Franklin has "one or two" fights left on his current contract, and the goal is no longer a title shot, but rather to fight exciting fights. One possibility that gets mentioned frequently is Michael Bisping.

"It doesn't necessarily have to be Bisping," said Franklin. "It could be anybody that would give me a fight like that."

Frankin can even contemplate retiring before he completes his contracted fights.

"Honestly, I guess it's not that important," said Franklin. "The thing is, if I went to the doctor today and the doctor told me, 'Look Rich, you need to stop fighting right away,' I might think, well, maybe I wanted to try to fight one more, but quite honestly it's not that important. I've had a long career, a successful career, and I'm happy with where I am. It's not that big of a deal, so if I was unable to finish the contract, that'd be OK, too.

"It's not an issue of desire. It's an issue of making intelligent choices. It lets me know that, this is my definite stopping point. I will not go beyond this, for sure."

Franklin has some business interests that he is pursuing, but they are aren't fighting - nothing is.

"I'm not sure what I'll fill the rest of my time with," said Franklin. "Because I don't love anything as much as I love fighting."

"When that switch finally flips in my head and I decide, OK, I'm retiring now, I won't fight anymore. I know how I am. My whole life has been this way. When I taught high school for a living and I quit to fight, I didn't go back. I didn't go visit the teachers I taught with. I mean, I might've gone back once or twice for things, but I wasn't that guy walking through the halls going, 'Man, I miss this place.' I'm very good at compartmentalizing things, and it'll be the same with fighting. How I'm going to handle myself on a day-to-day basis, that's a different question. I don't know how I'll handle that."

And what will Rich Franklin's legacy be?

"I think I'll be remembered as a talented fighter who put on good fights," said Franklin. "Realistically, I don't really care. And I mean that in a good way. Fans formulate their opinions of you, and you don't really have any control over what their opinions are. I mean, I'd love to be remembered as the best guy who ever walked into the cage, but that's not going to happen. I was beat twice by the same guy for my title, and I was never able to recapture it."

However, the 'same guy' was Anderson Silva, hailed by many as the G.O.A.T.

"Yeah," said Franklin. "That's better than being beaten twice by some guy who was just a half-ass fighter. There's some consolation in that. I guess there is."

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5/9/13 8:33 AM
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Mufasatheking
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Got robbed against Hendo
5/9/13 8:37 AM
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Ghost of Retard
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If Anderson hadn't come along who knows what would've happened. Rich is a guy I will always watch, he's exciting to watch wherever the fight goes. Phone Post
5/9/13 8:39 AM
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Smokemonster
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Badass school teacher. Phone Post
5/9/13 8:42 AM
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Authority Figure
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Ghost of Retard -  If Anderson hadn't come along who knows what would've happened. Rich is a guy I will always watch, he's exciting to watch wherever the fight goes. Phone Post

I agree. Before Anderson came along Rich was tooling guys. He was top notch. He's a legend in my book. 

5/9/13 8:42 AM
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Big Pookie
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Franklin should be remembered as a warrior!

Sure I'll never forget the 2 Anderson fights, but I also won't forget him knocking out Nate Quarry, Evan Tanner, Ken Shamrock etc. and KO Chuck with a broken arm.
5/9/13 8:44 AM
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Jobe Watson the Gentleman
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Edited: 05/09/13 8:46 AM
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Great read.
Rich is a class act. Never backed down from a fight, never disrespected an opponent, never used trash talk to gain popularity. Rich fights whoever they put in front of him and he will stand toe to toe with anyone.
Having Anderson Silva come along when he did, that was unfortunate for Rich but there is no shame in losing to the spider.
Rich has Wand and Chuck on his resume and lost a razor thin decision to Hendo so he had some legendary fights.
He may not be the greatest fighter but in my opinion his attitude and class puts him up there as a great. Solid fighter and a great ambassador for the sport. All the best to Rich in the future. Phone Post

5/9/13 8:45 AM
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Ministry of Truth
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The guy that couldn't beat the guy.
5/9/13 9:15 AM
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Saltyballs
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A BAMF. That's what his legacy will be.

Under appreciated, all class, humble, and an exciting fighter to watch. Franklin fan checking in. Phone Post 3.0
5/9/13 9:28 AM
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Ironhouse
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Edited: 05/09/13 9:28 AM
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Shamrock, Wand, Chuck (with a broken freaken arm!), Hendo, Silva<br /><br />Yes Rich is a class act and a future HOFer. I always liked watching him break guys up with his jab. Rich was interesting because he was an extremely well spoken, extremely intelligent guy, but he backed down from no fight, logic be damned rich was coming to fight no matter who stood across from him.<br /><br />Always humble, always respectful.
5/9/13 9:28 AM
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dipsheet
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There won't be articles about Franklin that don't mention Silva in the first paragraph & that's really too bad.
5/9/13 9:37 AM
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RedDragonUK
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Rich is the epitomy of what a martial artist should be. A fantastic role model and bad ass fighter.

I look up to the guy and always root for him. Phone Post
5/9/13 9:40 AM
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TommyRSU
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Always been my favorite fighter. From the jump. Phone Post
5/9/13 9:41 AM
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Ministry of Truth
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dipsheet - There won't be articles about Franklin that don't mention Silva in the first paragraph & that's really too bad.

It's a huge part of his legacy. He lost to Silva when he was in his prime (31), and just couldn't give Silva a challenge at all. It's hard to not bring that up any time you talk about his career. It's a defining moment, albeit not a positive one.
5/9/13 9:41 AM
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LucasBTiger
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Saltyballs - A BAMF. That's what his legacy will be.

Under appreciated, all class, humble, and an exciting fighter to watch. Franklin fan checking in. Phone Post 3.0
Amen.

I'm gonna be sad to see him go, and he'll always be my favorite fighter for the grit and respect he always shows. He is perfect for the sport and I hope to see him commentating for the UFC in some capacity.

Rich... "YOU'RE MY BOY, BLUE!" Phone Post 3.0
5/9/13 10:19 AM
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mmavixen
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A legend.  

An amazing fighter and a great man.

And the kind of guy any girl would marry (looks, heart, talent).

5/9/13 10:54 AM
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mmabuff101
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Edited: 05/09/13 11:32 AM
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http://i1317.photobucket.com/albums/t632/AttitudeCG/steveonrichfranklin_zps03926c95.jpg
5/9/13 11:07 AM
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zazen br
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Favorite american fighter up there with Frankie Edgar. Will cheer for him every time.

If only Anderson never quit his Mc Donalds job...
5/9/13 11:07 AM
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zazen br
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Favorite american fighter up there with Frankie Edgar. Will cheer for him every time.

If only Anderson never quit his Mc Donalds job...
5/9/13 12:51 PM
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madbanker
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I have been friends and a training partner with rich since 1999. He is a truly a great guy. I moved to mn before he got "famous", but anytime I ever come back to cincy he is the same guy from 1999.

I will never forget when he told me he was quitting teaching. He said, "I don't want to be that 40 year old guy on the couch watching a ppv and telling his friends that I could have done that" Phone Post
5/9/13 12:54 PM
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Bloody Pregnancy Fluids
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Jobe Watson the Gentleman - 

Great read.
Rich is a class act. Never backed down from a fight, never disrespected an opponent, never used trash talk to gain popularity. Rich fights whoever they put in front of him and he will stand toe to toe with anyone.
Having Anderson Silva come along when he did, that was unfortunate for Rich but there is no shame in losing to the spider.
Rich has Wand and Chuck on his resume and lost a razor thin decision to Hendo so he had some legendary fights.
He may not be the greatest fighter but in my opinion his attitude and class puts him up there as a great. Solid fighter and a great ambassador for the sport. All the best to Rich in the future. Phone Post


THIS!
5/9/13 1:00 PM
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Brabo Ben
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Definately the most under rated fighter of his generation, took on everyone anywhere, beat people at their own game, so he lost to the goat? He still holds one of the best records and quality of opponents in recent memory. Phone Post 3.0
5/9/13 1:31 PM
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RedDragonUK
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Also one thing from his fight style that could be over looked is that he's a righty fighting in southpaw stance. Phone Post
5/9/13 5:35 PM
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GOREILLAMAN
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Jobe Watson the Gentleman - 

Great read.
Rich is a class act. Never backed down from a fight, never disrespected an opponent, never used trash talk to gain popularity. Rich fights whoever they put in front of him and he will stand toe to toe with anyone.
Having Anderson Silva come along when he did, that was unfortunate for Rich but there is no shame in losing to the spider.
Rich has Wand and Chuck on his resume and lost a razor thin decision to Hendo so he had some legendary fights.
He may not be the greatest fighter but in my opinion his attitude and class puts him up there as a great. Solid fighter and a great ambassador for the sport. All the best to Rich in the future. Phone Post


Pretty much summed up my thoughts.

Probably the best positive role model in all of fighting. Always classy and respectful. I wish there were more guys like him. Would love to see him fight again, but I understand if he retires. He held the title and won some great fights. He deserves HOF honors. The dude is a fuckin legend for sure.
5/9/13 6:05 PM
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ranier wolfcastle
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former ufc champ. very few mma fighters can say that


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