UFC on Fuel TV 6 Recap: The End of Rich Franklin EraPosted on November 12, 2012, 06:43 PM by Andreas Hale
You can't help but to love Rich "Ace" Franklin. The former math teacher turned MMA fighter has had a great career and the portfolio to prove it. Victories over the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, Yushin Okami, Evan Tanner, Ken Shamrock and Marvin Eastman coupled with some sizzling knockouts of Nate Quarry and the aforementioned Liddell make Franklin one of the more decorated fighters in MMA. We can't forget that if it wasn't for some guy named Anderson Silva, Franklin's middleweight title reign could very well have lasted much longer than the two he had before The Spider became the best fighter in the world.
For all that he's accomplished, it was hard to see Franklin laying face down on the canvas after a Cung Le punch flatlined the former champ. At this point in his career, Ace has to put some serious consideration into calling it a career at 38. A look at his last seven fights is evidence that perhaps the time has come for Franklin to hang up the gloves.
After starting his MMA career at 26-3, with his only losses to Silva (twice) and Lyoto Machida, Franklin has gone 3-4 with knockout losses to Le and Vitor Belfort. Le's looping punch that sent Franklin crashing to the canvas was a shock because we hadn't seen the middleweight look so helpless. Even the loss to Vitor Belfort could be forgiven considering the lethal weapons that the Brazilian has connected to his arms. But the Le punch just didn't appear to be something that Franklin couldn't withstand.
Realistically, the loss signals that Franklin has come to the end of his rope. Sure, there are still some competitive fights out there but we don't want to see Franklin go out like Chuck Liddell did. With The Iceman, we all saw the signs. The Rashad Evans knockout gave us a tap on the shoulder, the Shogun Rua screamed in our ear and the Franklin knockout was the one that said "please retire before you get seriously hurt."
Ironically, Franklin was the one to sweep the remnants of Liddell from the UFC. And now Le may be the one that punctuates the statement that says "Hey Rich, time to go home."
We wouldn't be surprised if Franklin continues his career and comes up with some big wins. You know, because he's Rich Franklin. But to see him face plant in a heap is a visual we don't need to see again.