Rich “Ace” Franklin today announced via a piece he wrote for The Players’ Tribune that he was officially retiring from competing in MMA. The news comes despite talk in previous weeks that he was considering one last fight to see out his UFC contract and career.
Franklin, who celebrates his 41st birthday next week, has not been seen inside the cage since 2012 when he was knocked out by Cung Le. While no fighter ever wants to go out with their last fight being a loss, Franklin realises that his “body has slowed down, and while ever so slightly, those fractions of a difference determine victory or defeat at the top level.”
During his career, Franklin forged a record of 29 – 7 with 1 no contest and fought on four separate continents. He defeated Evan Tanner in 2005 to become the third ever UFC middleweight champion, defending his title twice before eventually losing it to Anderson Silva. Aside from Silva, Franklin has fought a who’s who of MMA legends including Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida, as well as wins over the likes of Chuck Liddell, Ken Shamrock and a pair of Fight of the Night winning performances against Wanderlei Silva.
Franklin has always been a hugely popular figure in the sport, in fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a fan of MMA who dislikes him. One of the reasons for this was his exciting fighting style and desire to finish fights, highlighted by the fact that only 4 of his 29 wins went to a decision.
However, Franklin stressed that just because he won’t be fighting anymore does not mean he is going to disappear altogether. In recent times he has worked with ONE Fighting Championship in Asia, which he will continue to do. “I decided I didn’t want to announce ‘retirement’,” Franklin wrote, “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.”
Franklin spoke of telling his students when he was a teacher to “pursue your dreams” and to “believe and know that dreams are attainable, but to make them a reality, you’d better be willing to outwork anyone on the same path. Remember, hard work is nothing without a solid strategy.” This is something Franklin, himself, did and this philosophy is evident when looking back at his career. Signing off, he included these words “Many years ago, I was just a guy chasing his dream. Today, I stand here humbled and appreciative of where that pursuit took me. God bless!”
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Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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