Don’t worry. He’s not retiring yet. In fact you can expect to see Rich “Ace” Franklin headlining the next UFC event as he takes on former Strikeforce champ Cung Le on Nov. 10 in the country of China. During a recent interview with ESPN.com Franklin had admitted that he’s been under quite a bit of scrutiny for his comments earlier in the year, as he was asked on his opinion of the hot topic of TRT. Franklin simply said he has never used, but would be open to considering it as he comes up on 40 at the age of 38.
“The public perception of TRT is that it’s cheating,” Franklin told ESPN.com. “The moment I said I was actually thinking about it, I started getting quite a bit of backlash.”
Regardless, Ace doesn’t feel he’s to the point in his career where he needs to consider hanging it up or taking a prescription of testosterone.
“I don’t believe I’ve dropped off with my speed or strength or any of that,” Franklin said. “You can’t look at my last fight and say, ‘Yeah, Rich has lost a step and is looking older.”
It seems the fans backlash over the TRT issue is enough to keep the former middleweight champ from sticking around mixed martial arts when his bodies natural ability to produce testosterone has diminished.
“When that day comes, perhaps I will consider quitting or possibly taking TRT. More than likely, in my mind, I’ll choose retirement over the necessity of TRT to continue.”
That day is not here now as Franklin has not lost his vision for a title shot. In his eyes, one more win after Le and we may be seeing Silva vs. Franklin III.
“I’ve had trouble maintaining ranking in any weight class just because a lot of people don’t know where to put me since I’ve been fighting at catchweights,” Franklin said. “I believe winning this fight, I will need another top five contender before the UFC will actually give me a title fight.
“And that depends on whether they even want to have a Franklin versus [Anderson] Silva III.”
As to recent comments by other fighters in the division suggesting that the long running champ is ‘ducking fights,’ Franklin simply does not agree.
“It’s not like he’s ducking hard fights or anything like that,” Franklin said.
“Whatever it is they’re thinking in his camp, they have some sort of intelligent strategy to it. Anderson Silva doesn’t hang on to his belt as long as he has by making stupid decisions. You can defend your title that many times by being a great fighter but you have to be a smart businessman, too.”