Franklin will face Christian Edwards on the preliminary portion of the card taking place at the Windstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
When did you start training? Tell me your background.
“Earlier this year as far as mixed martial arts. I’ve been a lifelong wrestler. I’ve been wrestling since I was ten years old. I wrestled in high school, third in the nation my senior year, national qualifier my freshman year of college. Yeah, just been a grind, honestly.”
What have you shown here in the gym to where you’re bypassing the amateurs and jumping right into the professional ranks?
“Getting my ass kicked by guys in the UFC, and then being able to hang with them, and then being able to win some rounds against them. Just knowing that if I can hang with these guys who compete at the highest level, with no fights, I think this is the path for me.”
What has it been like transitioning to martial arts; striking, submissions?
“Natural, natural; It hasn’t been hard. There are some things I still gotta clean up, but for the most part its just come naturally. It’s just god, god’s work. Honestly, it’s how I feel. In my humble opinion I feel this is god’s work.”
How do you describe getting an opportunity with Bellator right out of the gate and how do you cash in on this opportunity?
“I surprised myself, that’s what it feels like. I told myself I’m not going to sign to Bellator or UFC til’ I’m like two, three, years in. I was prepared to go through the amateur circuit and take the process everybody else takes. The universe works in mysterious ways. It just worked out I got signed to Bellator in seven months of training. Beat the f**k out of the guy! I’m sorry. Hey man, breaking necks and cashing checks, make a statement; that’s it. That’s my mentality.”
Check out the full interview at the top of the page.
Bellator 233 is headlined by a middleweight battle featuring submission specialist John Salter (16-4) meeting Holland’s Costello van Steenis (12-1).