Plan for success is my new article on www.acesway.com ,ck it out. http://acesway.com/2012/07/24/plan-for-success/
Check out some pictures of my training for Wand
Call him what you want but Rich Franklin is a company man. Initially scheduled to face Cung Le at UFC 148, Franklin now faces Wanderlei Silva in the main event of UFC 147 after Wanderlei’s opponent Vitor Belfort was injured. Rich has stepped up and filled spots before, but his fight with Le was to be his first officially back in the UFC middleweight division. Not to mention that his new opponent is one of the best strikers in MMA history – who Franklin already faced and won a very close decision over. Rich has never backed down from a fight, but his decision on taking this fight with Silva on short notice wasn’t easy.
“Initially, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to fill in this spot”, Franklin said. “I was in Singapore on the complete opposite side of the earth preparing for a specific kind of opponent. My prep was cut 2 weeks, and I had to get on a plane IMMEDIATELY to come home and make adjustments necessary”.
Franklin had been overseas training and bringing in opponents that had styles closely resembling Cung Le’s. Like Franklin told BJpenn.com earlier this month, “Cung is an entirely different kind of opponent”. With the change of opponents coming in the middle of his preparations for Le, Rich felt he has to move quickly.
“I’ve been home a day and a half, and we have yet to do a tape breakdown on Wand again. That’s like night and day. Southpaw to Conventional, aggressive vs. passive, and their styles are completely different”.
Every fighter changes and evolves from fight to fight. Wanderlei may not be the fighter he was in Pride, but he is still dangerous. Rich knows what it takes to beat Silva from their first encounter, and he also knows that Wanderlei now knows what he brings to the table. Rich is a smart fighter who gets to know his opponents beforehand even the second time around.
“Again, I need to look at the tapes on him”, said Rich. “The core of a fighter will remain the same, but I need to evaluate whether or not Wanderlei has developed any new tricks in his game that he didn’t have the last time we fought”.
The same problem of a change in opponents could be challenging Wanderlei’s camp. Unlike the change from Le to Silva, Rich doesn’t see much difference between he and Silva’s former opponent Vitor Belfort.
“In my opinion, not much honestly”, said Franklin. “We are both well rounded southpaw strikers, so in that sense the switch is a bit advantageous for Wand. If I didn’t think I could win this fight, I would not have accepted it”.
Franklin also told BJPenn.com earlier this month that the Le fight interested him, and that he was looking forward to it. Rich has almost always been a ‘go with the flow’ type of guy so when asked if he thought he would get the chance to face Le anytime soon, Rich laughed.
“I’ve learned not to try to predict my future opponents in this sport”.
Article courtesy of www.bjpenn.com
I am in this article as it talks about sacrifices an athlete makes to get to the top. http://tinyurl.com/bupa2fp
“The UFC has basically told me that they’re not interested in having me fight at 185 anymore,” Franklin said in an interview with MMAWeekly.com. “Which is the only reason I made the move to 205 in the first place.”
Fast forward to March 2012 after Franklin had shoulder surgery that kept him out of fighting for the remainder of 2011, and it was announced that he would face former Strikeforce champion Cung Le at UFC 148.
The biggest surprise about that fight of course is that it’s taking place at middleweight.
So what changed over these last several months that brought Frankling back down to 185 pounds?
“After this injury, I was talking to Monte Cox and I said what would the UFC think about me moving back down to 185? I think at this point in time, in their minds, if I was able to put a title run together, even if they did do another rematch between Anderson (Silva) and I, there’s been enough time at this point there would be interest in the fight, and I guess that’s what the interest is now,”
Truth be told, Franklin was never a huge fan of fighting at light heavyweight to begin with, so when the door opened back up for him to return to 185 pounds, he jumped at the chance.
There are no certainties in MMA of course, so the door to return to 205 pounds isn’t closed by any means, but Franklin is hopeful that his final days of fighting will all be carried out in the UFC’s middleweight division.
“I try to avoid absolutes, but yeah if I’m going to move down to 185, making a jump to 205 is a difficult thing to do and making a jump back down to 185 is a difficult thing to do, but constantly moving back and forth between the two, and I was doing catchweights at 195, that makes things more difficult,” said Franklin.
“You don’t really have a home. Your body is constantly having to adjust to different weights, so this should help stabilize things for me. Hopefully, this is where I’ll finish my career.”
Of course, just coming back from major shoulder surgery and having his first fight scheduled against Cung Le in July, Franklin knows he’s still a ways off from competing for the UFC middleweight title again, but that’s still his ultimate goal.
The passion to once again claim the 185-pound title that he held and defended two times is something that Franklin still holds near and dear.
“That would be my Cinderella story. It would be great. I had one chance at that and fighting in my hometown and all that kind of stuff to regain my title, swing and a miss, strike one. I moved up to 205 and never really quite put things together at 205, swing and a miss, strike two. So hopefully this would be the way to end it,” Franklin stated.
“We’re starting with a good exciting fight, we’ll move forward from there. But that would be my Cinderella story.”
Article Courtesy of www.mmaweekly.com
Gladiator got the axe… welcome to the Evolution!
Fans in the arena will still warm up to The Who’s Baba O’Riley and the fighters will still Face the Pain, but the gladiator man is gone, an entirely new UFC intro making its debut at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit on Saturday night.
It’s like the passing of an old friend, or the cranky old lady down the street finally moving away, depending on your perspective, but the UFC has finally taken the leap to change its longtime pay-per-view introduction.
“I knew it was time to change the gladiator, but I wasn’t gonna do that until something new and something big happened like this Fox deal came up,” said UFC president Dana White, unveiling the new intro to a flock of media that maybe looked like a bunch of wide-eyed eight-year-olds on Christmas morning more than journalists.
White could barely contain himself when he informed a small group of us in the media that he had a surprise following the UFC 143 Pre-Fight Press Conference. Leading us off to a small, but elegantly catered, room inside the posh Aureole restaurant at Mandalay Bay.
Giddy doesn’t even begin to describe White.
“My staff hasn’t even seen this yet. You guys are the first people to see this. Tell me I don’t love you (expletives),” he said in true Dana White fashion.
I know, I know, you’re saying, “what’s the big deal? It’s just an intro to a sporting event.”
But to White, it is much more than that. It is part of the essence of what engrains UFC fans some of the most rabid fans in the entire sports world.
As with the gladiator intro, the new Evolution intro will reverberate through the arenas, and now stadiums, wherever the UFC goes, not just on the pay-per-view broadcast for fans at home. White wouldn’t have it any other way.
“That is our deal. This place is rocking; it’s so loud here, you can barely even hear yourself think. That’s part of the energy. That’s part of the excitement about being at a UFC event.”
Longtime UFC fans will surely gather more from the new intro than most casual fans. It’s like a timeline of the growth of the company, thus the moniker Evolution.
White & Co. took this project extremely seriously.
Opening with Royce Gracie’s submission of Ken Shamrock, winding it’s way past Chuck Liddell’s throttling of Tito Ortiz into the Georges St-Pierre era, and blowing apart with Anderson Silva’s knockout of Vitor Belfort, Evolution required six months from concept to completion.
It’s difficult to describe Evolution, which starts in a small gym, the floor of which begins crumbling away as actual fight footage shows Shamrock’s hand smacking the floor, cracking it apart, as he taps out to Gracie.
Liddell rushes forth, punishing Ortiz, blasting him through a wall that crumbles to the ground… all the while the Octagon starts to take shape, rising up through the rubble.
As the fights wear on – St-Pierre, Hughes, Rampage, Velasquez, Jones – the building tumbles away, the Octagon emerges, and Silva’s face-crunching kick explodes into the 55,000-seat Rogers Centre in Toronto.
This is more than just a new video intro for White, it’s a memorial of sorts, paying tribute to many of the fighters that have helped build the UFC into the juggernaut it is today.
“Probably the most important thing about this new piece is it pays tribute to all the guys who have helped build this company and helped build this sport over the last 10 years during the Zuffa era.”
He even incurred extra expenses and a further delay in taking the intro live because he realized at the last minute that he had forgotten to include Rich Franklin.
“We were so into this, I left Rich Franklin out. So it cost us a (ton) of money and a bunch of time to fix it and get Rich in there. There was no way I was gonna air this thing without Franklin in there, too.”
The UFC obviously spared no expense. Aside from paying extra to be sure Franklin was included, they hired visual effects giant Digital Domain to create the footage and famed composer Hans Zimmer to score the 60-second spot.
Digital Domain has produced effects for Titanic, Apollo 13, Armageddon, and many, many more films. Zimmer has scored such movies as Gladiator, Inception, The Lion King, and numerous others.
“This cost us some money, but I’m really happy with the end result,” said White.
The devil is in the details, which is a large part of the expense, not just the names that are attached to its creation. All the fights in the footage are cut from actual fight footage; they are not animations.
“These guys had to cut everyone of those images out frame-by-frame and do little things like the shadowing underneath the feet,” he continued. “You can’t imagine the amount of detail and the amount of work that went into this thing.”
Hardcore and longtime fans in particular will want to be sure and save the intro on your DVRs. You’ll be watching and pausing and rewinding, over and over again, to catch all the details, to name the 18 fighters featured in the footage, to identify all seven current champions and six Hall of Famers, to marvel as the old world crumbles into the new.
Yes, many of you will dismiss it as just a new intro, and put into proper perspective, that’s probably all that it is. But to White, it’s homage to those fighters that lay their blood, sweat, and tears out on the mat to be able to call themselves “world champion.”
Rich will be demonstrating some self defense techniques on “The Doctors” show on CBS wednesday January 11th. Check your local listings for times.
My First Fight: Rich Franklin
But if you hopped in a time machine and told the Rich Franklin of 1993 — then a senior at William Henry Harrison High School in Ohio — that this UFC stuff he was watching with his friends would eventually become his career, he probably would have laughed in your time-traveling face.
“I had no aspirations of becoming a pro fighter or anything like that,” Franklin says now. “But I saw the first UFC and I was immediately hooked.”
Sure, he did a little karate. He was even his sensei’s star pupil, and he felt pretty good about it. But in Franklin’s mind, that was as far as it went. He liked sports, and he also felt like he should know how to defend himself. That’s why, when he saw the UFC for the first time in November of 1993, it was an eye-opener.
I was like really? They were going to put me against this big guy? He was at least 50 pounds heavier than me.
– Rich Franklin”I remember thinking, if I ever get into a fight on the street I’d better know how to fight on the ground, because clearly some people know a lot more about it than others. So I started doing jiu-jitsu.”
Fortunately, there was a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu chapter in Cincinnati. As a college student studying to be a high school math teacher, Franklin began learning the finer points of the ground game. One thing led to another, and soon he added some kickboxing into his regimen. It was fun, and that was enough. At least for a little while. Then his friend, Josh Rafferty (later a contestant on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, put a simple question to Franklin.
“He said to me, ‘Look man, all you do is train, go to school, come home, and train some more. You train all day, so why don’t you try one of these fights and see if the training you’re doing is actually paying off?’ That’s why I took my first fight.”
But this was still Ohio in 1998, so it’s not as if there were major MMA events taking place every weekend. What few there were in the region weren’t exactly advertised on TV, either. Franklin and his friends had to ask around, but eventually they heard a rumor that there were regular fights at a gym in Muncie, Indiana. Franklin and Rafferty made the drive and sat through the entire event, which ended with a 6’2″, 260-pound self-described “Meat Truck” by the name of Kerry Schall putting a beating on some football player.
“I looked at Josh at the end of the night and said, ‘You know what? I think I could do this. Let’s give it a shot.’ We saw a flyer as we were leaving for another show about three months later and we decided, okay, this is the one we’ll train for.”
The good news was that training for an unregulated amateur fight in a gym in Indiana in 1998 was that you did not need to worry about cutting weight. You also didn’t need to worry about seeing a doctor or passing medicals. You simply called up the promoter and told him you wanted a fight, and then you called him up two weeks before the fight to reassure him that you weren’t going to back out. Then you showed up on fight night and waited your turn.
The bad news, Franklin soon realized, is that you had no idea who you’d be fighting. This hit home as he was sitting in the audience watching the night’s first few fights and talking with Schall, who he recognized from the previous event he’d attended.
“We introduced ourselves and Kerry said, ‘Oh, you’re the guy I was supposed to fight tonight, but I had to pull out because I’m sick,’” Franklin recalls. “I was like, really? They were going to put me against this big guy? He was at least 50 pounds heavier than me.”
But before he had too much of a chance to dwell on the implications of this revelation, the announcer called his name and summoned him to the cage. As Schall would delight in telling people years later, after he and Franklin had become good friends, when Franklin heard his own name he simply stood up, pulled off his tearaway warm-up pants like a male stripper, and strolled into the cage, ready to fight.
So I just let it go, and the crowd — all 200 of them or whatever it was — went from screaming and yelling to completely speechless.
– Rich FranklinThe other guy, as Franklin remembers it, was not quite as excited about the whole deal.
“He looked uneasy. As soon as we stepped in the cage, he looked like he didn’t really want to be there. I looked at his demeanor and his posture and I was like, I got this one in the bag. He was in something that he did not want to be in.”
As soon as the action started, Franklin realized why. His opponent that night — Franklin swears he was known only by the name ‘Seymour’ (“I guess he was like Madonna or something. He just had the one name. He was Seymour.”) — didn’t seem like he was quite ready for an amateur fight against a man who had five years of experience in both grappling and striking at a time when most fighters still specialized in one at the expense of the other.
But even though he quickly saw that his skills were ahead of Seymour’s, Franklin wasn’t totally sure what to do about it.
“This is how dumb I was: we come out and we’re mixing it up, and I end up taking him down. I’m kind of cross-mounted on him and I have a submission, but I let it go and go to another submission, and I have a shoulder lock almost completely locked out, but then I thought, you know, I trained all these months, all these years, for a 30-second fight? I’m going to let him up. So I just let it go, and the crowd — all 200 of them or whatever it was — went from screaming and yelling to completely speechless.”
Franklin released the submission and stood up. He indicated to Seymour that he, too, should get up. This seemed to confuse everyone — especially Seymour — and even Franklin soon had second thoughts.
“He got up and we mixed it up on our feet some more, but it was clear to me that I was just a step above this level of competition. At that point, I started to feel a little bad. Like, why didn’t I just finish him when I knew I had him beat? This is kind of a jerk thing to do.”
So Franklin handed out a tough dose of mercy in the form of a knee to the gut. Seymour collapsed on the mat. The ref stepped in and waved it off. A little over two minutes after it had started, his first MMA fight was over. After the way it had gone, he wasn’t quite sure what to think about it.
“I thought it would just be that one fight. Then a couple months later somebody asked me about doing another one and I thought, why not?”
Part of his enthusiasm was just a consequence of being an ignorant youth, he says. “Early in my fight career, I really thought I was the baddest man on the planet. I was young and stupid.”
I was like, whoa, you can actually make money fighting? That’s where it first clicked.
– Rich FranklinBut it was also the fact that, for one reason or another, the high school math teacher didn’t fully appreciate the risks he was taking.
“It wasn’t until my third amateur fight, where I kicked this guy in the jaw and broke his jaw in like three places — hurt him pretty bad, actually — that I finally took a step back and realized, hey, that could have been me. These are the consequences of fighting, and you never know who you’re getting in the cage with. From that point on, you start thinking about it a little more. The reality of things starts weighing on you a little more.”
Shortly thereafter the local promoter pulled Franklin aside and politely suggested he find a bigger organization to compete in, one with fighters who might give him more resistance. That’s when a different promoter offered him a couple hundred dollars to fight in his event, and a light bulb went off in Franklin’s head.
“I was like, whoa, you can actually make money fighting? That’s where it first clicked.”
Gradually the purses and the events got bigger, and in his fourth year of teaching Franklin decided to give up his full-time job at an Ohio high school in order to pursue fighting as a career.
“Before that I’d make a thousand bucks here or there and have a little extra money to buy Christmas gifts or something. But to do this and really make money at it? That was a pretty wild idea. The sport was only just then evolving to the point where people were starting to make real money at it,” he says now. “That fourth year I took like three fights and I won and ended up quitting my job. Seems like it all panned out pretty well.”