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Weighing In: Should Rich Franklin Retire?

Each week this column will examine both sides of an argument and offer a conclusion on the topic. Suggestions for future subjects are welcome in the Comments section…

This past weekend middleweight Rich Franklin was sent face-first into the canvas after eating a powerful counter hook from opponent Cung Le at UFC on Fuel 6. At 38 years old, and with mixed success in the Octagon over the past few years, the loss has left the MMA world wondering if they’ve seen the former champion inside the cage for the final time.

Currently, Franklin hasn’t hinted about his future in the wake of the brutal finish other than to say he’ll evaluate his options after taking some time to watch tape and talk to his team. Regardless of what he actually decides, the real question at this point is SHOULD he retire?


Of Franklin’s seven career stumbles, five have involved strike-based stoppages and more than one has left viewers concerned for the veteran’s well-being. He’s also 4-4 in his last eight fights without a Top 10 victory to his credit in more than five years. With his hopes of putting together one final run at the belt gone, Franklin has nothing else to compete for other than money and he’s not hurting in that department by any means. As a well-spoken, informed, and intelligent individual, “Ace” has a bright future as a representative of the UFC in a non-fighting capacity and, given his age, it’s time for him to explore it.


The punch that rendered Franklin into a puddle of goo would have done the same to any adversary who’d absorbed it. The timing and placement were perfect and all individuals are at risk of being KO’d when the right button is pushed. It was also the only the second time he’d been knocked out in his last nine fights despite competing against heavy-hitters like Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, and Dan Henderson. The time for concern is when he’s been flattened in 2-3 consecutive clashes, not a single instance. There are also plenty of interesting opponents left for Franklin out there at 185 pounds or 205 depending on what route he wants to go considering his name value and skill-set. At middleweight, Franklin could face someone along the lines of Hector Lombard, Brian Stann, or Michael Bisping and draw fans; likewise at light heavyweight with Mauricio Rua or Lyoto Machida. With a card planned for Ohio in March, Franklin should fight at least one more time before considering the possibility of hanging his trademark pink/brown trunks up for good.


There’s no need for Franklin to retire just because he suffered a knockout to Le. He’s shown an ability to recover from damage in the past and simply “got caught” in the bout. His chin isn’t the most durable in MMA to be sure but it isn’t made of Ming Dynasty porcelain just yet. Let him fight another big name this spring and go from there. Franklin has been a great ambassador for the sport in and out of the Octagon and deserves the opportunity to go out on his terms, not just because people might be pressuring him out of an emotional response to the nature of his loss.


  • Lord Faust says:

    It depends what Rich wants to do. If he wants to make another run at a title, then I think he’s going to have to accept that is not in the cards. I’d be fine with him getting a couple gimme matches like Hughes got against Gracie.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    let him do what he wants, he’s earned the right. i’m not sure dropping to 185 at this stage of his career/life was overtly wise, he really doesnt need to be putting that toll on his body.
    grand stand fights would be good, shame Tito is gone, that’d have been a good one. likewise with Bonnar, Rampage, shogun, etc
    let him make some more money any way he pleases

    also he’d do well calling fights as a third party to Goldie & Joe. UFC really need to get other fighters up in the commentary box more often, even just for one fight per card

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I’d like Rich as a commentator, or even another interviewer, I think he could do well there too

  • jasonah says:

    Let Rich do what he want’s. He’s been in the U.F.C for a long time, He’s beat a list of Who’s who.And put on some really Exciting fight’s. Before and after the Anderson Silva Era. I Dont see Rich as the Kind of fighter to Where out his Welcome. After all he’s the first guy to admit That He’s at The tail end Of a Career. But If He Get’s pasted like that Anymore, it will Be the End Or close to It. Rich did not look Right in that fight! Hand’s low, and little to no Head movement ? That punch that Cung threw would have K.Oed 80% of the U.F.C s Roster.That was the perfect overhand right, on the button. That was just as bad as the Punch that Rashad Hit Chuck With. And that punch changed The landscape of the U.F.C. I think if Rich has another bad loss he will call it!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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