Ex-champ Rich Franklin to retire after final UFC fight

Elias Cepeda

During an appearance on Inside MMA Friday night (video above), former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin revealed that his next fight will be his last. The 39 year-old has never hit a major losing skid in his career, even after losing his title to Anderson Silva in 2006.

Since that time, Franklin has gone 7-5 including a loss in his rematch against Silva. Most recently, however, Franklin was knocked out by Cung Le one year ago. That loss helped Franklin make his mind up to retire from MMA competition soon.

“I lost my last fight, and that really kind of solidified my decision to make this my last fight, coming up,” Franklin told hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten.

“I know that that took me out of title contention, and so for me to actually get back in the title hunt again would be a couple years’ worth of work.

“I’m 39. I’ll be 40 next year, and it’s getting to the point where it’s late in my [MMA] life, and it’s really too late to make that title run.

“So I started questioning, like, what am I really fighting for if I can’t make it to the title anymore? I know I’m not in title contention anymore, and I realize that. That’s how it is.”

Franklin does not yet know who he will fight next and last, or when. Who do you think would be a fitting final opponent for "Ace?"

Let us know in the comments section.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda

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