Rich Franklin and four other MMA veterans who shouldn’t retire

Rich Franklin and four other MMA veterans who shouldn’t retire


This weekend, Rich Franklin will make his 20th appearance inside the Octagon, facing Cung Le in Macau, China. This fight will headline UFC’s inaugural trip to China, co-headlined by the Light Heavyweight scrap between Thiago Silva and Stanislav Nedkov.

Franklin is now approaching his forties, but in a recent interview with, Franklin labelled himself as The Last of the Mohicans, claiming that he’s working his way up for another shot at the UFC Middleweight title. A lot has been said about Rich Franklin, and his status as one of the most respected figures in the UFC. To me personally, the fact that at his age, Franklin has worked hard to recover from a very serious shoulder injury to step back inside the cage is truly inspiring.

“Ace” is 29-6(1) in his MMA career, losing only to former or current (Anderson Silva) UFC/Pride champions. The teacher from Ohio is not going anywhere, just like four of the MMA legends below.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

After more than 13 years in pro MMA competition, it’s still too early for Big Nog to hang ’em up. Yes, he lost to every Top 5 Heavyweight in recent years, but I don’t think there’s someone who’d disagree that even today Minotauro is still a force to be reckoned with inside the Octagon. Thirty-six year old Brazilian is a mentor to some of the best fighters in the game, and has at least two more years of fighting ahead of him.

BJ Penn

The Prodigy was very inconsistent in recent years, and well, he has technically retired from Mixed Martial Arts. However, a somewhat forced feud with Rory MacDonald re-ignited the fighting spirit in BJ Penn’s heart. I doubt that Penn will be a champion ever again, but he’s just thirty-three years old. At this age, it’s not too late for BJ Penn to reinvent himself as a fighter, with sights on another title run in the UFC Lightweight division. With the right motivation, Penn can fight for at least five more years.

Andrei Arlovski

Yes, Andrei Arlovski! Just like with BJ Penn, it seems as AA is fighting since the days of Royce Gracie and Art Jimmerson. Well, and just like BJ Penn, Arlovski is just thirty-three years old. I think “The Pitbull” has now found his “niche” by fighting for up and coming promotions such as ProElite and World Series of Fighting. He’s knocking out mismatched opponents, getting paid, and there’s absolutely nothing bad about it. Fighters like Arlovski do a great promotional service for young organizations such as WSOF by just being on the card. He’s putting his body on the line for promotion’s development, and as always, for the fans. I like Arlovski in this comeback stage he’s currently going through. Who knows, maybe we’ll see “The Pitbull” back in the UFC.

Rampage Jackson

There’s no doubt about Quinton Jackson being one of the best Light Heavyweights in MMA history. Famous victories, memorable slam knockouts… you name it – been there, done that. Maybe now, it’s time for Jackson to ‘relax’, and enjoy his life as a fighter. His current motivation is to have exciting fights, and to earn a lot of money. I can see Rampage making appearances for WSOF and in Japan. Moreover, I think a promotion like Glory World Series could afford the services of modern-day B.A. Baracus, and present him with the right match-ups in both MMA and Kickboxing. One thing is true – it’s never boring with a fighter like Rampage Jackson.

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  • Brasil

    Rampage is a bum!

  • bantam

    Agree, Agree, Agree, DISAGREE. Rampage has nothing left to prove in the octagon. His mouth and labile temper tantrums won’t be missed if he never comes back I assure you.

  • David Saucier

    What about Wand did he retire already?

  • partyboy

    Rampage *has* a bum, so do most people though…

  • TheRealDeal

    Rampage, LOL. He should be THROWN OUT.

    Franklin and Big Nog, yes, I agree. Still fairly competitive.

    BJ will retire after MacDonald whoops his ass.

    Arlovski- doesn’t matter- he’s not going anywhere.

  • KeithFarrell

    It says fighters who shouldn’t retire, unfortunately Wand might be one of them who should retire

  • KeithFarrell

    I agree with all of this but I think it’s unfair to mix Arlovski in with guys who are arguably top 10 in the world, in their weightclasses.

    Probably 90% of high level UFC fighters could go down to the small leagues and smash through everyone but should they do that instead of retiring?
    Most high level UFC guys will hang them up when they aren’t able to hang in the octagon, while Andrei is happy fighting against low tier guys (nothing wrong with that).

    All I’m saying is, with no disrespect to the former champ, Andrei is comparable to already being retired as most of the guys you name will retire when they get to Andrei’s situation.

  • enjoylife321

    Nog, Penn, and Arlovski have all taken enough beatings in their career.

    As for Rampage the last time he slammed someone was in 1980. This was a time when rampage had his sushi roll dipped in many different teriyaki omelettes.

  • fenomnx

    Glass chin Arlovski….perfect example of someone who can give a beating but one punch and it’s lights out. Rampage is kinda like Chael in the sense he can hype a fight up. Big nog will never have a main event again unless he goes on a diet and improves standup. Bj penn is a waste of talent….he is the prodigy and i feel he lost the devotion and passion for fighting. Another person who shouldnt retire is Vitor Belfort.

  • colonel

    I met Rich Franklin a few years ago in a Crispy Cream in Vegas and he is one of the nicest person I spoke to.
    He’s genuine, really an amazing guy and obviously a great fighter.

  • purinho

    Rampage ability to hype a fight is nowhere near to Chael’s, he is just a bully, Big Nog is probably fighting Werdum in a main event, he is stiil in the top 10, and after the surgery he brings a lot more power behind his punches, than before, agree on BJ.