Friday, January 9, 2009

Cincinnati's UFC Champ Rich Franklin to fight overseas in Ireland

A high school math teacher from Cincinnati, Rich Franklin probably isn't the first person you would think to be stepping into a fighting ring and going toe-to-toe in an all out brawl with fighters from all over the country and the world. Even with a master's degree in education and a bachelors degree in mathematics from the University of Cincinnati, Rich Franklin decided to drop teaching and become a full time Mixed Martial Arts fighter.

Rich "Ace" Franklin has a very impressive track record in the UFC. Franklin had an amazing record of 17 victories and only 1 defeat on his way to his fight for the title. His only loss was against Lyoto Machida by TKO in the second round. However his road to the title was anything but a simple one. Going head-to-head with such well-known and respected fighters like Evan Tanner, Jorge Rivera, Edwin Dewees, and Ken Shamrock, Franklin proved himself to be worthy of the title fight, which he won. Franklin also defeated Evan Tanner a second time for the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 53 which also lead to him landing the spot of coach on the second season of the t.v. series The Ultimate Fighter.

Franklin has defended his title twice so far, once on November 19, 2005 against Nate Quarry who he knocked out in the first round and again on March 4, 2006 against David Loiseau. After breaking his left hand in the fight with Loiseau and sitting out for seven months, Franklin returned to fighting only to be dethroned of his title by Brazilian Anderson Silva on October 14, 2006. But, eager to win back his title, Franklin stepped up against middleweight contender Yushin Okami on June 16, 2007 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This victory named Franklin the number one contender for Anderson Silva's middleweight championship. Franklin won and regained his title. However, Franklin's Victory was short lived. On October 20, 2007, Franklin faced Anderson in a rematch for the middleweight championship and unfortunately lost by TKO in the second round.

On January 17, 2009, Franklin will be competing in the biggest fight of his career. Sporting a 24 win and 3 loss record, Franklin steps overseas once again in his fight against former PRIDE Fighting Championships 183lb. and 205 lb. champion Dan Henderson at UFC 93 in Dublin Ireland. This isn't just your run-of-the-mill fight however. It is the first UFC event of the year, Franklin is the first person to main event a UFC show in Ireland, and the winner of the fight will be given the job of coach for the American Team on The Ultimate Fighter season 9 US v.s. UK.

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