Former UFC Champ Rich Franklin Headed for a Position as a ONE FC Vice President

April 19, 2014
17 Comments

Rich Franklin at UFC 53Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin has retired from MMA with immediate effect in order to take up a role as Vice President of ONE FC according to reliable sources in Singapore.

MMAWeekly.com confirmed the news following an initial rumor posted on The Fight Nation website on Saturdy.

Franklin later revealed his intent on his Facebook page.

“I have been in talks with ONE FC about taking a job with them. They offered me a position as VP,” he wrote. “I will be heading to ONE FC headquarters in the next few weeks to work out the details. I met with Dana and Lorenzo at the end of last year and they gave me their blessing. I will keep you posted.”

Franklin was a keynote speaker at the 2013 ONE FC Summit and his long-time trainer Matt Hume already has a role as Vice President of Operations and Competition at Asia’s biggest MMA organization.

During his prime, Franklin was widely regarded as the best middleweight fighter on the planet and his record currently stands at 29-7-1, but he has not been seen inside the Octagon since a November 2012 loss to Cung Le at UFC on Fuel TV 6 in Macau.

In an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly in Singapore last year, Franklin admitted he was pondering retirement and, as he prepares to take up this new position with ONE FC, it is safe to assume that the 39-year-old won’t be competing as a fighter again.

While ONE FC’s recent acquisition of a spate of fighters – most notably undefeated former Bellator 170-pound beltholder Ben Askren – has made the headlines, the organization has also made a series of significant appointments at a corporate level.

Last month, Muhammad Saul left a senior role at Bloomberg, where he had been employed for 14 years and was in charge of the Asia-Pacific Enterprise business division, to take up a post as ONE FC’s new Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development.

Patrick Murphy was the man responsible for selling the media rights for the UEFA Champion’s League during a 12-year period when annual revenues swelled from €100 million to €1.8 billion. Earlier this year his Catalyst Media Group became the exclusive distributor for ONE FC’s live shows and archive.

A year ago, Victor Chu, who had previously worked for NBA Asia, ESPN Star Sports and IMG, took up a post as ONE FC’s Head of Global Commercial Partnerships.

These executive level appointments might not capture the imagination of fight fans, but they still represent a serious statement of intent by the Singapore headquartered organization.

In terms of newsworthiness though nothing can compare with the acquisition of Franklin who has fought 20 times for the UFC and remains one of the most recognizable and marketable fighters in the sport.

An official announcement about Franklin’s new role is imminent with ONE FC likely to issue a press release in the coming weeks.

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  • Timothy Malone

    Disappointed as I was hoping he would fight in the UFC again

  • Gary Fredericks

    Great decision on Franklin’s part. No reason to take more punishment for peanuts.

    Thank you Mr. Franklin for an incredibly entertaining career. Good luck to you in retirement sir.

  • Alex

    LOL that’s funny, because Rich is also better than any fighters on their roster.

    Even now, way after his prime, he can still fight there in their LHW and MW division, and will beat anyone they put in front of him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/addictedanimefans Stephen Wago

      Apparently not Cung Le.

      • James

        How would he fight Cung Le in OneFC when Cung Le is under contract in the UFC?

        • Marc

          Mmm… They fought each other already! Franklin lost…

          • Alex

            Seems like you and stephen wago have some serious reading comprehension issues LOL

  • DamianCross

    But….but he’s a science teacher! What will Hollywood do for MMA protagonist day jobs if we don’t have a science teacher?!

    • Leo

      He actually taught Math you dipshit, and was once a reigning/defending champion in the toughest fighting org in the world. What have YOU done ?

      • DamianCross

        Hmmmm set a guinness world record, drank vodka with Fedor, did the sole live coverage of Kimbo’s first MMA fight…actually full disclosure since we’re taking every comment literally, I once robbed one of Crocop’s training partners of several hundred dollars. Heh, I feel kinda sorry about it too but he was being a douche. Ah, memories…

  • onepunch

    You can’t say no to such a position, since it’s long-term and offer you a steady job within the sport you love and had been practising. Furthermore, a nice steady income, whilst till have time to run his other business interests at home. He was already connected to One FC whilst he was training at Evolve MMA that lead him to attend One FC summit as a guess speaker. Hopefully, in his capacity he can bring in fighters and promote MMA as a sport throughout the world. A great step forward for him in his next career. Good luck on his next venture and/or career path.

  • Muhamad chan

    The sport for white people

    • DamianCross

      hockey?

    • Wolf Ticket

      Why dude, why?

  • BrendanfromBoston

    Get the real truth at mmafighting. This article lures you in with a BS headline. Rich Franklin is ‘CONSIDERING’ a VP job with OneFC. He has not ‘formerly’ retired yet. I would encourage MMA Weekly to report the real story unless they are a tabloid?

  • danksy

    He made sure to get the Godfather’s blessing…lol

  • anonymous

    Investigative reporting would have found that Rich Franklin took new job as UFC corporate spy for the Asian market, detailing when viable competition becomes vulnerable for takeover.