It’s been almost three years since Rich Franklin stepped inside the Octagon and competed.
The former UFC middleweight champion is currently a member of the ONE Championship executive committee. On Monday, he announced his official retirement from active competition in an editorial posted on The Players’ Tribune.
Franklin (29-7) lost to Cung Le back in 2012, alternating wins and losses in his last eight fights. He holds notable victories over Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hamill, Yushin Okami, Ken Shamrock and a 2005 triumph vs. Evan Tanner that brought him UFC gold.
“If I attempted to thank every person who significantly impacted my career, the remainder of this article would read like a Biblical genealogy. Understand that I am just one link in a long chain of people who contributed to my success. I truly cannot express the amount of gratitude I hold in my heart,” Franklin wrote. “So, where do I go from here? In my mind, the sky is the limit! I decided I didn’t want to announce ‘retirement,’ rather, I am announcing that I have closed one chapter of my life and begun another. I am blessed to continue working in an industry I helped build. I will continue to do great things with ONE Championship.”
“Ace” started his MMA career in 1999 and won his first five fights and was unbeaten in his first 14 before a 2003 loss to Lyoto Machida. He spent the final seven years of his career fighting for the UFC.