Rich Franklin: Guiding Force Behind One Championship ‘Warrior Series’

Nov 20, 2019

Rich Franklin has done much inside a mixed martial arts cage. He is a former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder and has competed against UFC legends Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell during a hall-of-fame career. Now as a vice-president for One Championship, he has become key in seeking out a new generation of MMA talent as the guiding force of the promotion’s One “Warrior Series.” This is a role in which he finds fulfillment outside of the cage.

“You’ve got to keep in mind, I went to university to become a high school teacher,” Franklin told Sherdog. “So, I have this kind of innate draw towards educating [and] helping people. I think if I was not a professional athlete, I would have ended up being a life coach or something like that. This project for me is great because one; I like meeting the athletes. I’m not only telling their stories; we get to go there and we get to train with people. We get to see things that I’ve never seen before. I’ll learn about different cultures. I get to see them from a perspective that I wouldn’t even get to appreciate the same way if I was just a tourist. On top of that, as you recruit these athletes, you get to see them grow in the organization and you get to see them succeed. And when you hear the stories of people, and the kind of things they’re sacrificing; it was the same thing for me. I sacrificed a bunch in order to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. When you see what people are sacrificing, you really become invested in this project.”

In this conversation with Sherdog, the Ohio native spoke in depth on the television show and promotion that makes up the One Warrior Series, how it was formed and its importance as a new talent source for One Championship. Franklin also talked on the organization’s hydration protocol and the unflattering picture of him handling fighter samples. He also touched on the promoting contrast between the UFC and One Championship.


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