Rich Franklin may be a simple Mid-western guy, but to anyone who knows him well, he’s a force of nature. A former math teacher turned mixed martial arts (MMA) champion who recently retired, Franklin competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship for nearly twelve years and is one of the sport’s most recognizable faces.
In July 2014, Franklin joined the Singapore-based mixed martial arts organization ONE Championship as a Vice President. He serves as a spokesperson throughout Asia and the United States hosting seminars and working with fighters.
As if having a job on another continent wasn’t keeping him busy enough, Franklin has also teamed up with American Biotech Labs (ABL) to release Armor Gel, a nano silver-based, wound dressing gel that provides protection against external bacterial and superbugs that plagues so many athletes in sports.
Franklin is also in high demand for speaking engagements. His Tedx talk on ‘How to Be a Loser’ garnered national attention in both the media and public arenas and at Chicago Ideas Week he addressed a 100+ audience on the topic of ‘Work Like a Fighter.’ Fortune 500 companies such as Procter & Gamble have hosted him as a speaker while the Navy’s Special Warfare (NSW) Resilience Program continues to feature him at seminars all over the country.
As his career began to slow down, Franklin has turned his attention to a longtime passion of his … health and nutrition. As a young kid he was focused on gaining muscle, but when becoming a professional athlete, he turned to performance and recovery. Having lost his father to heart disease, Franklin’s mission is about longevity and teaching others the importance of organic food and where it comes from.
In October 2013 he launched Ze/Lin Juice & Fusion Café in Beverly Hills with a friend. Not your ordinary cafe, Ze/Lin featured cold-press juices along with acai bowls, smoothies, and vegan/gluten free pastries. However, due to his increasing travel schedule to Asia, Franklin closed the storefront to focus the business on the distribution of bottled juices.
In 2008, Franklin joined the ranks of select UFC athletes who have crossed over to “Hollywood” for possible careers in television and film. His friends gave him the nickname "Ace" for his resemblance to Jim Carrey’s character Ace Ventura. Franklin’s acting debut was in the sci-fi action film Cyborg Solider starring Tiffani Theissen where he played an escaped super solider. In 2010 he returned to the big screen as a college wrestling coach in Hamill, and then again this past summer in Mantervention.
Franklin is always one to give back and passionately supports U.S. troops. His American Fighter clothing donated a portion of sales to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). He created the Keep It in the Ring Foundation to advocate non-violence and build character in youth through after school sports, martial arts and life skills programs. The DAV named him their National Spokesperson in 2008 and featured him in a televised public service announcement that aired over 11,000 times reaching 40 million homes and becoming the organization’s highest grossing PSA. Franklin has visited numerous military bases and veteran hospitals all over the world including Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
Franklin currently lives in West Chester, Ohio but splits time between there and Singapore for work. He enjoys playing the drums and spending time with family and friends.
I walked into a small training facility just outside of downtown Phom Phen, to teach a seminar. When I glanced at the mat, I was fairly certain it had never been cleaned. Dangerous and sometimes deadly forms of bacteria, such as MRSA and VRE are now very commonplace, and can usually be found in local gyms, schools, and many places you would never think to consider. Contracting an infection after training on equipment or rolling on a mat is now a real possibility that we all have to face. Even small wounds can become big problems if they are not properly taken care of.