Eyeing an early summer return from a shoulder surgery that’s seen him out of action since last February, former UFC middleweight champ Rich “Ace” Franklin is getting his MMA fix through other avenues, namely by test calling the fights with Jon Anik, former host of ESPN’s MMA Live and new member of the UFC broadcasting team.
Franklin commentated on last weekend’s UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem fight with Anik and spoke with World of MMA beforehand about the experience and possibly extending his services as a commentator full-time.
“The UFC, they’re expanding. Everybody knows they’re doing the shows on Fox and Fuel and FX and all that kind of stuff,” explained the 37-year-old. “So, they’re adding some positions as like analysts and commentators… I’m out here this weekend to work with Jon Anik at the fight. I’ll basically be calling the fights, but it’s not gonna be televised.”
With his career in its late stages and himself being intelligent, well-spoken and well-versed in the fight game, transitioning to a gig as a color commentator seems like an easy and logical step for the 28-6 veteran to take. But, as he pointed out, calling the fights isn’t exactly as simple as just showing up on fight night and paying attention.
“I talked to Mike (Goldberg) before about the analysis and commentating, and I know what kind of prep actually goes into this stuff and it’s a lot,” he said. “I went back and watched the previous fights of all the fighters and all that kind of stuff. There’s a lot going into it, reading the bios and everything. I just knew when they said something to me about it that it was gonna be a lot of work.”
Check out World of MMA’s full interview with Franklin below.