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Rich Franklin Bio

Richard Jay "Rich" Franklin II (born October 5, 1974) is an American retired mixed martial artist who competed in Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is a former UFC Middleweight Champion. As of June 2014, Franklin was announced as a Vice President of Asian Mixed Martial Arts company ONE Championship.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Business
  • 3 Mixed martial arts
    • 3.1 UFC career
    • 3.2 Middleweight title
    • 3.3 Losing the title
    • 3.4 Return to contention
    • 3.5 Move to Light Heavyweight
    • 3.6 Return to Middleweight
    • 3.7 Retirement from MMA
  • 4 Film career
  • 5 Championships and accomplishments
    • 5.1 Mixed martial arts
  • 6 Mixed martial arts record
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


Franklin was born to Richard Sr. and Vaila Franklin. The couple divorced when Rich was five years old. He is one of seven children and has 3 brothers and 3 sisters including one biological brother, Greg and five half-siblings.

Prior to becoming a full-time MMA fighter, Franklin graduated from William Henry Harrison High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and later earned a master's degree in education at the University of Cincinnati, and taught mathematics at the Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

His nickname "Ace" comes from his resemblance to the actor Jim Carrey, who played the character Ace Ventura. Joe Rogan once called him "Angry Jim Carrey".

Franklin is a born-again Christian and quotes Psalm 144:1 on his webpage and fighter gear. February 21, 2006, was officially named "Rich Franklin Day" in Cincinnati by the city's mayor.


American Fighter

In 2002 Franklin and his business partner Jeff Adler created American fighter athletic clothing brand. Initially the brand featured T-shirts, but quickly grew into an athletic apparel brand featuring a full line of athletic training clothing, casual wear and training gear for martial arts. In 2012 Affliction Clothing expressed interest in the name and its widespread appeal. They acquired the majority of the company from Franklin and his business partner bringing the brand to mainstream retailers where it continues to grow.


In October 2013, Franklin and friend/business partner Billy Zebe launched Ze/Lin Organic Juice & Fusion Café . Located in Beverly Hills, CA, the café featured cold press juices, smoothies, gluten free and vegan pastries, etc. Due to the brand gaining popularity, Ze/Lin closed its storefront 9 months later to focus on wholesaling and distribution for the bottled juices.

ONE Championship

In April 2014, Rich signed on as a Vice President in the ONE Championship organization. ONE Championship (ONE) is a Singapore-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion which was officially launched on 14 July 2011. It is widely recognized as the biggest MMA promotion in Asia. Franklin will serve as the face of the brand and will travel throughout the US and Asia hosting seminars and speaking engagements, promoting fights and working with the fighters.

Mixed martial arts

According to Rich, he first learned karate at the Harrison Okinawan Karate Dojo in the early 1990s, under Bill George & Steve Rafferty. He also studied submission fighting from instructional video tapes. He has been associated with and trained with Meat Truck Inc. and currently trains at facilities run by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Jorge Gurgel, (New Generation Martial Arts); Neal Rowe, a Muay Thai instructor (Sacan Martial Arts); and Rob Radford, a boxing instructor (Boxing 4 Fitness). Franklin is currently ranked as a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Jorge Gurgel, earning this on 11 October 2014.. Since losing his title to Anderson Silva, Franklin has started training under Matt "The Wizard" Hume.

UFC career

Franklin began his UFC career with a perfect 3-0 start, including a victory over skilled MMA veteran Evan Tanner at UFC 42, Edwin Dewees at UFC 44 and Jorge Rivera at UFC 50.

On April 5, 2005, Franklin fought in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale, which was the first live UFC card on free cable TV. He faced former UFC champion Ken Shamrock and won the fight via TKO due to strikes. Franklin was highly impressive in this fight as he was able to knock Shamrock out, something that no one else had done to that point in Shamrock's career. Franklin's win over a mixed martial arts icon like Shamrock propelled him into UFC stardom and established him as one of the organization's biggest stars. The win over Shamrock also ensured a title opportunity for Franklin.

Middleweight title

This title shot came at UFC 53 on June 5, 2005. Franklin defeated Evan Tanner for a second time to win the UFC Middleweight Championship. The victory led to him being a coach (along with welterweight champion Matt Hughes) on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter.

At UFC 56 on November 19, 2005, Franklin defended his title against Nate Quarry, a competitor from season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter. Franklin won the fight via highlight reel KO in the first round.

At UFC 58 on March 4, 2006, Franklin defeated David Loiseau in a unanimous five-round decision to retain his title. Franklin broke his left hand early on in the second round. The injury required surgery, including a metal plate and screws and Franklin was out of action for six months.

Losing the title

At UFC 64 on October 14, 2006, Franklin lost his title on his return fight after being defeated by Anderson Silva. The fight was stopped by TKO (knees) at 2:49 of the first round after Franklin received a knee to the face. Franklin, who was considered by many to be the favourite coming into the bout, was caught in a clinch by the Brazilian, with Silva delivering a flurry of knees and kicks that rendered the champion unable to continue. On October 19, Franklin underwent surgery due to the nasal fracture he received during the fight.

Franklin made his return at UFC 68 against Jason MacDonald. Franklin showed superior striking during the fight, and mounted MacDonald in the closing seconds of the second round, causing significant injury and swelling around MacDonald's left eye. MacDonald's corner advised ending the fight and Franklin was declared the winner by TKO (corner stoppage) between rounds. After the fight Franklin called Anderson Silva to the Octagon and said that he and Dana White had agreed to a fight for the title in Franklin's hometown of Cincinnati.

Return to contention

In a bout that would determine the top contender in the middleweight division, Franklin fought world ranked Yushin Okami at UFC 72 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Franklin defeated the top middleweight contender by unanimous decision to be officially announced as the number one contender for Silva's middleweight championship. The bout was only Franklin's second overall fight that went the full distance (due to being a non-title fight, it was three rounds). All three judges scored the bout 29–28 to Franklin. Franklin also became the first person to main event a UFC card in Northern Ireland.

Franklin fought Silva for a second time at UFC 77 on October 20, 2007. Prior to the bout, he had recently signed a new six-fight contract with the UFC. Much like their first fight, Silva was able to effectively neutralize Franklin in the clinch, eventually defeating the former champion via TKO (knees) at 1:07 in the second round.

After Rich's second loss to Anderson, he began making regular trips to Seattle, WA to train with Matt Hume of AMC Pankration to prepare for UFC 83, where Franklin faced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Travis Lutter. During the bout Lutter was able to secure a tight high-level armbar, though Franklin was able to escape the hold and go on to win the bout via TKO (strikes) at 3:01 of round 2.

Move to Light Heavyweight

At UFC 88, Franklin made his return to the light heavyweight division against close friend and training partner Matt Hamill. Franklin won by TKO following a kick to the liver which prompted the referee to call a stop to the fight at 0:39 in round 3.

Franklin met with former Pride Welterweight Champion and former Pride Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland. In a closely contested fight, Franklin ultimately lost by controversial split decision. The winner would gain the opportunity to coach Team USA on Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter. Franklin became the first person to main event a UFC show in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

At UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany, Franklin defeated former Pride Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision at a catchweight of 195lbs. Franklin became the first person in UFC history to fight in four different countries, in four consecutive fights.

At UFC 103 another catchweight contest, Rich lost to former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort. This was Belfort's first bout in the UFC since February, 2005. After a lengthy feeling-out process, Belfort connected with a left hook that dropped Franklin, following up with a flurry of left hands that ended the contest via TKO at 3:02 in the first round. Though it was logged as a clear win for Belfort, there has been discussion over the multiple illegal blows to the back of Franklin's head.

Rich Franklin vs. Chuck Liddell at UFC 115

Franklin was rumoured to face multiple-time UFC Champion Randy Couture at UFC 115. After contrasting reports on who would be his opponent, Franklin eventually was confirmed to face former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell on June 12, 2010, following the withdrawal of Liddell's original opponent, Tito Ortiz. During the contest, Liddell showed improved striking from that seen in his recent fights, showing more proficient kicks. In the final seconds the opening round, Liddell connected with a head kick and moved forward to attack an arguably stunned Franklin, only to be knocked out by a compact counter right hand at 4:55 of round 1. During the post-fight press conference, Franklin confirmed that his left forearm had been broken by a head kick Liddell threw during the middle of the round. Fortunately, however, the forearm would not need surgery, allowing Franklin to recover faster.

Franklin faced former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin on February 5, 2011 at UFC 126. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Franklin was scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 133 on August 6, 2011 in Philadelphia. Nogueira was forced out of the bout due to a shoulder injury. Unable to find a suitable replacement on short notice, the UFC pulled Franklin from the card as well.

Franklin faced Wanderlei Silva in a rematch, replacing Vitor Belfort who suffered a hand injury. In the main event at a 190lbs catchweight on June 23, 2012 at UFC 147. He won the fight via unanimous decision, with both participants earning Fight of the Night honors for their performances.

Return to Middleweight

Franklin returned to the middleweight division against former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le on November 10, 2012 in the main event at UFC on Fuel TV 6. He lost the fight via KO in the first round.

Retirement from MMA

After teasing the possibility of one more MMA fight before calling it quits, Franklin instead announced his retirement on September 28, 2015. Franklin penned a retirement column on in which he indicated that a recent conversation with his mother helped make the decision and the understanding that “his body has slowed down.”

Film career

Franklin made his acting debut in a film called Cyborg Soldier where he plays an escaped super soldier and partners with Tiffani Thiessen. In 2010 he starred in Hamill, a story inspired by the life of deaf UFC fighter Matt Hamill. He can be seen playing MMA Coach Billings in the 2014 comedy Mantervention.

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • UFC Middleweight Championship (One time)
    • Two successful title defenses
    • Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Chuck Liddell
    • Fight of the Night (Two times) vs. Wanderlei Silva (x2)
    • Record for most significant strikes in a UFC Middleweight Championship bout vs. David Loiseau (127)
  • Sherdog
    • Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Fame

Mixed martial arts record

See also

  • List of current UFC fighters
  • List of male mixed martial artists

External links

  • Official website
  • Team American Fighter official Myspace
  • Official UFC Profile

MMA Shirts