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Rich Franklin

Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin was born on October 5th, 1974 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Franklin says that his martial arts and submission fighting training began in the form of instructional videos that he watched as a child. His father registered him in a karate class when he was 12 and Rich continued to compete in various sports included football in high school. After attending college and becoming a trainer and instructor, Franklin decided that he wanted to fight for a living.

After beginning his professional fighting career with the International Fighting Championship, Rich was invited to challenge Evan Tanner at UFC 42. Franklin won that bout by TKO and went on to win his next six professional matches by TKO, submission, or unanimous decision. This impressive streak bought Franklin the opportunity to once again face Evan Tanner in the octagon, this time for the middleweight title. The UFC offered an additional prize in the form of a coaching position for the upcoming second season of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter.

Franklin’s first title defense match saw him pitted against Nate Quarry, a contestant from The Ultimate Fighter season one. Quarry proved no match for ‘Ace’ and lost the fight by being knocked out in the first round. The next challenger was David Loiseau and Franklin was able to secure a victory in that match with a unanimous decision after a full and intense five rounds. Anderson Silva was able to take the title, knocking Franklin out during the first round of their UFC 64 fight and sending him to the hospital with a nasal fracture.

A subsequent win by Franklin at UFC 68 against Jason ‘The Athlete’ MacDonald by TKO prompted Dana White, UFC CEO, to declare that a rematch between Franklin and UFC welterweight title holder Anderson Silva would take place at UFC 77 in Cincinnati, Ohio – Franklin’s hometown. Franklin fought his scheduled bout versus Yushin Okami at UFC 72 in Belfast, Ireland, winning the bout with a unanimous decision.
 

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