Rich Franklin, the former UFC middleweight champion is set to be inducted into the UFC’s Hall-of-Fame this summer.
Franklin, who retired back in 2012 was a massive star where he had epic fights against the likes of Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Anderson Silva and Ken Shamrock among countless others. Franklin was just a school teacher turned fighter, but was a massive star. However, he doesn’t think he would be a star if he was fighting in today’s UFC.
“The way I conducted myself then, no,” Franklin said to MMAFighting when asked if he thought he’d be a star of his caliber in 2019. “I would have had to conduct myself in a different manner. I look at times when I could have done quote-unquote trash talk. And there’s a respectful way to create hype around a match. You don’t have to be disrespectful to people. You don’t have to talk about their families or be blatantly rude or whatever, shoving people on stage. There are ways to create hype around a match. I would have to reassess how I would market myself, I guess.”
Really, Franklin believes he doesn’t have the persona to be a star in today’s UFC. And, he believes fighters need to be who they are as MMA is not pro wrestling.
“I couldn’t imagine being a high-profile athlete that puts on this public persona that’s inconsistent with who I am and have to put my head on the pillow at night and have to reconcile with myself how that must feel,” Franklin said.
Ultimately, Franklin was a star at the right time for the UFC and one of the best to ever to do it. His induction into the Hall-of-Fame is long overdue. However, he is more than honored to get inducted and finally be recognized in the hall.