Rich Franklin is possibly the most under-appreciated fighter by MMA fans. Franklin is well known, but he is not known enough. Franklin is well liked but he is not liked enough. Rich Franklin should be one of the most popular fighters in the sport. He has everything that fans should like.
Rich is a elite level fighters skill wise. He has beaten some of the best of the best. He is a former champion. I think his devastating losses to Anderson Silva caused people not to think he is an upper echelon fighter. Franklin’s career losses have come to Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Anderson Silva (x2), and Lyoto Machida. Let me add that the loss to Henderson was questionable. Franklin has proven he is able to compete with the best. Career victories over Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Ken Shamrock, Matt Hamill and Evan Tanner. To put that into perspective Franklin has beaten two of the UFC’s Hall of Famers (3 if Wanderlei gets in). Oh yeah, he is a former UFC middleweight champion.
Rich Franklin has heart. The dude broke his arm in the first round of the Liddell fight and still kept going and knocked out Liddell. When Rogan asked him about the potential of him not coming out in round 2 Franklin said, “Are you kidding me?” He is the man. He fights through injuries. He doesn’t quit. He always bring it. He has a style the fans love. His aggressive and technical stand up style should cause more fans to flock to him. I don’t see what elevates a guy like Liddell over Franklin with the fans. Franklin has every bit the resume of any fighter and twice the heart.
Rich Franklin has a good story. A former high school math teacher who turned MMA.
Rich Franklin is a class act. I think Chuck Liddell described it best when speaking of changing from fighting Tito Ortiz to Rich Franklin when he said, “I went from fighting a guy I hate to possible the nicest guy in the sport.” Other fighters lvoe Rich Franklin. He is a great ambassador of the sport. He isn’t a trash talker. He is well spoken. There is a reason the UFC likes to have Franklin on a card when going to places they haven’t been (i.e. Germany at UFC 99).
Rich Franklin is an old fashioned hard worker and a company man. He is loyal to the UFC. I know the UFC haters don’t see that as a star quality, but everyone should respect his loyalty and hard work. He is always willing to step up and fight. He has done it time and time again.
My point is that Rich Franklin should be more popular than he is. His name should be in the discussion with Liddell, Penn, Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre. Rich Franklin is simply great!