Rich Franklin is heading to the Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame. The former UFC middleweight champion had a spectacular MMA career, which saw him retire with a record of 29-7 with one no contest.
“Rich Franklin is one of the original, big stars of UFC, from when we first bought the company,” UFC President Dana White said. “Rich helped us take the sport of mixed martial arts to another level and put UFC on the map during the early days. Rich has always been a class act. He’s a guy who would fight anyone and do whatever it took to help grow the sport of MMA. He is a true legend and I’m honored to call him my friend.”
Franklin defended the middleweight title two times before losing to Anderson Silva. Franklin holds notable wins over the likes of Ken Shamrock, Nate Quarry, Wanderlei Silva (twice) and Chuck Liddell, among others.
Franklin is set to be inducted into the “Pioneer” wing of the UFC Hall of Fame in July during International Fight Week. To be inducted into the Pioneer wing, athletes needs to have turned professional before Nov. 17, 2000 and be a minimum age of 35.
“This induction is less of my doing and more of the culmination of the many hours each coach, training partner and my manager spent with me,” said Franklin. “So often people talk about the sacrifices an athlete has to make to succeed, but my friends and family sacrificed far more for my career. Few people in this world live out a childhood dream and turn a hobby into a career, let alone end with Hall of Fame recognition, and God has blessed me with both. I am humbled by the support of my fans over the years and those particularly persistent on this induction.”