ONE Championship exec Rich Franklin would return for right fight (but don't get your hopes up)

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Former UFC middleweight champion and ONE Championship Vice President Rich Franklin doesn’t miss the anxiety of fight week. But he still thinks often about getting back into the cage.

“People ask me if I miss my career, and the main thing I miss is not necessarily walking into the arena and all that and having your hand raised, but I miss the brotherhood I had prepping for a fight,” Franklin told MMAjunkie Radio.

Franklin (29-7 MMA, 14-6 UFC) officially hung up his gloves in September 2015. The announcement ended a three-year period of uncertainty in which he contemplated a return but then decided to go behind the scenes with ONE Championship.

The switch hasn’t kept fans from asking whether he’d like to fight again, perhaps in a promotion like Bellator, where the focus is more on aging stars than up-and-comers. His name has also come up as a potential participant in a “legends league” pushed by ex-UFC champ Vitor Belfort.

That’s flattering to Franklin, who still gets recognized as a fighter working halfway around the world in Asia. Yet he’s not looking to transition back to the life of a full-time athlete.

“Is it possible I could come back? I mean, anything’s possible,” he said. “But is it probable? Not likely. I’ve never really been interested in a legends league. Just because once you climb to the top of Everest, you wouldn’t say, ‘Hey, I just you want to climb up Everest and go to base camp.’ It just doesn’t work that way.

“But the right kind of matchup and fight could definitely pique my interest. It’s just not probable, so I don’t really want to give anybody any false hope as if I’m coming back.”

It’s still hard for Franklin to escape his roots. He continues to train in MMA and notes he’s in better shape than ever before. It’s just not the same level of condition as when he was fighting.

“To look at me, I’m probably actually in better shape with my body feeling the way it feels than I was in my fight career,” he said. “Now, obviously, I’m not in peak physical condition, because you just kind of maintain that kind of conditioning throughout your life. You have to pick and choose when to peak, but yeah, I keep myself in shape.”

Besides, Franklin notes, it’s not like he’s simply sitting around the house. There’s plenty of work to be done with ONE Championship, which recently opened up an office in China as part of an expansion effort in the tough-to-crack market. The promotion is ramping up its event schedule later this year as it pushes into Vietnam and potentially South Korea, opening another two markets in the travel-friendly show.

The UFC has downplayed ONE’s status in the fight to attract viewers, saying the industry-leader beats the Asia-based promotion in meaningful metrics.

Yet Franklin sees the competition as a positive for both organizations.

“I believe in competition,” he said. “I actually believe that the UFC being in Asia and having two global organizations over there only increases the awareness of MMA overall, and it just ends up helping both organizations out.”

Watch the above video to hear Franklin on a potential retirement and ONE Championship’s plans for this year.

And for more on upcoming events, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2475 with Rich Franklin, Marc Ratner and Carlos Silva

Stream or download Friday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Rich Franklin, Marc Ratner and Carlos Silva.

Franklin is not opposed to fighting again, but doesn’t think that’s likely at all. He feels like ONE Championship’s number one goal is to continue making inroads into China. Says Angela Lee could be as big as Ronda Rousey is/was. Ratner says the commission was correct for sanctioning the Mayweather-McGregor boxing match. Silva shared some details from next season’s Professional Fighters League regular season and playoffs format.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

Filed under: News, UFC, WSOF
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Marc Ratner, Carlos Silva and Rich Franklin

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET with guests Marc Ratner, Carlos Silva and Rich Franklin.

Ratner, an executive for the UFC, will join the Gorgeous George and Goze in studio to talk about the August showdown between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, among other topics. Silva, the CEO of the Professional Fighters League, will discuss the organizations upcoming first event and the future of their million-dollar tournaments. Franklin will call in to talk about ONE Championship, the largest MMA organization in Asia … and maybe possibly fighting Chuck Liddell?

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC, WSOF
Source: MMA Junkie