Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin was detained at the Los Angeles International Airport today after being mistakenly identified as a convicted felon.
According to his publicist, Daphne Ortiz, was on his way home to Cincinnati, Ohio, following a trip to Singapore.
Franklin frequents Singapore as he now is retired from the UFC but has assumed the position of Vice President of ONE Championship, formerly ONE FC.
The former middleweight champion had a one-hour layover in Los Angeles, where he planned to relax, but was instead handcuffed by immigration officials, led through a an estimated crowd of 500 people, and put into a cell without being told why he was being detained.
The entire thing happened to be a misunderstanding as Franklin has the same name and state of residence as a convicted felon. Officials sent him back to the pre-check area where he is registered with the airlines.
While Franklin is understanding of the heightened security measures, Ortiz said that he was embarrassed and upset about being handcuffed and escorted away in front of hundreds of people, many of whom no doubt identified Franklin as a well known former UFC champion and famous athlete.
There are currently three residents of Ohio with the same name, who are convicted felons; two of them are currently incarcerated, while the third is under Adult Parole Authority supervision.
Ortiz indicated that this case of mistaken identity happens frequently to Franklin when he is traveling, but due to increased security measures in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, this instance was escalated, as he normally isn’t handcuffed and hauled through a crowd to a cell.