This Week’s MMA Birthdays: Rich Franklin Turns 39

By Brian Knapp Sep 29, 2013
Rich Franklin turns 39 this week. | Photo: Dave Mandel/

The fourth middleweight champion in Ultimate Fighting Championship history, Rich Franklin will celebrate his 39th birthday on Oct. 5.

Franklin christened his professional mixed martial arts career with 22 wins in his first 24 outings, a no-contest against Aaron Brink and a technical knockout loss to Lyoto Machida the lone hiccups. “Ace” captured the middleweight crown at UFC 53 in June 2005, when he stopped Evan Tanner on a fourth-round TKO. He successfully defended the title twice, first against Nate Quarry and then against David Loiseau, before his reign was ended by the great Anderson Silva at UFC 64 in October 2006. Though he has spent the rest of his career in Silva’s enormous shadow -- a rematch with “The Spider” at UFC 77 did nothing to help his cause -- Franklin’s resume speaks for itself.

The Cincinnati-based middleweight ranks sixth on the UFC’s all-time list in significant strikes landed (656), eighth in victories (14) and ninth in appearances (20). In addition, he remains the only man to have defeated former Pride Fighting Championships 205-pound titleholder Wanderlei Silva twice and owns wins over UFC hall of famers Chuck Liddell and Ken Shamrock. Though he has yet to officially retire, Franklin has not competed since November, when he was knocked out by Cung Le in the UFC on Fuel TV 6 main event at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China.

A former high school mathematics teacher in his native Ohio, Franklin holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Cincinnati.

Those in MMA celebrating a birthday the week covering Sept. 29-Oct. 5:

SEPT. 30

Herb Dean (43)
Yves Edwards (37)
Damacio Page (31)

OCT. 1

Devin Cole (37)

OCT. 2

David Heath (37)
Takayo Hashi (36)
Ed Herman (33)

OCT. 3

Thiago Alves (30)
Dave Herman (29)
Seok Mo Kim (27)

OCT. 4

Milton Vieira (35)
Josh Burkman (33)
Ralek Gracie (28)
Andrew Bard (26)
Erik Koch (25)

OCT. 5

Hiromitsu Kanehara (43)
Rich Franklin (39)
Matt Hamill (37)

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