Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin has officially hung up the gloves.

On Monday morning, the Cincinnati native penned a piece on The Players Tribune to announce his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts. Franklin, who turns 41 next month, has not been seen inside the Octagon since suffering a first round knockout to Cung Le back in November 2012.

“I am announcing that I have closed one chapter of my life and begun another,” wrote Franklin.

Franklin (29-7) made his professional debut under the Word Extreme Fighting banner in 1999, earning a 21-second knockout in his first career bout. He would go on to rattle off 14 victories in his first 15 bouts, including a first round TKO in his UFC debut against Edwin Dewees at UFC 44. His lone non-victory was a No-Contest in 2001. Franklin’s string of wins would come to end in the form of a second round TKO to future UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida in 2003.

The UFC would eventually invite Franklin back to challenge for the middleweight belt at UFC 50. He would finish Even Tanner in the fourth-round. Franklin would defend his title twice with violent first-round knockout of TUF 1 alumn Nate Quarry and 25-minute beatdown of David Loiseau.

His title reign would come to an end his quick, one-sided knockout loss to pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva at UFC 64. Franklin rebounded with back-to-back win over Jason MacDonald and Yushin Okami, earning his rematch with Silva at UFC 77 in the process. However, Franklin would suffer a second-round TKO to the champion.

With two losses to the champion, Franklin would go on to jump back-and-froth between the UFC’s middleweight and light heavyweight division, while competing in several catchweight matchups.

He will continue to serve as the vice-president of One Championship, Asia’s premiere MMA promotion. He closes out his career with a record of 29-7,  with 25 ending in stoppage, a UFC record of 14-6.

“I am blessed to continue working in an industry I helped build,” wrote Franklin. “I will continue to do great things with ONE Championship. Many years ago, I was just a guy chasing his dream. Today, I stand here humbled and appreciative of where that pursuit took me.”

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.