Rich ‘ACE’ Franklin Retires

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The former UFC middleweight champion penned a retirement column on, a site that future MLB Hall of Famer Derek Jeter founded in 2014 to give athletes a direct medium to reach fans.

According to 40-year-old Franklin (29-7 MMA, 14-6 UFC), who hasn’t fought since a November 2012 loss to Cung Le, a recent conversation with his mom helped make the decision. That, and the understanding that his “body has slowed down.”

Franklin, who now serves as vice president of the Singapore-based ONE Championship promotion, wrote about it:

I was joking with my mom a few weeks ago pretending that I was negotiating a final fight. I found out the next day she had not slept a wink that night.

“We’ve had our battles and done our duty,” she said.

I thought it was interesting how she used words like “our”. I have learned that my friends, family, coaches, training partners and even my fans shared the joy of my victories. It was as if they stepped into the cage with me for every fight. However, they also suffered the disappointment of my losses.

My mother was right, though, and it reminded me of Paul’s words in 2nd Timothy 4:7: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith …” This comes at a time when I have to accept that I am no longer 25. The body has slowed down, and while ever so slightly, those fractions of a difference determine victory or defeat at the top level.

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