In recent years we have seen the likes of Mike Tyson and Chuck Liddell return to the ring or the cage. Comebacks are coming thick and fast and many retired fighters are looking to roll back the years and have one final fight.

Former UFC middleweight champion and current ONE Championship executive Rich Franklin could be one of them. He told Chael Sonnen that,

“I look at old videos of myself and I’ll be watching TV, it feels like I’m watching somebody else. It was a different lifetime, and sometimes I scratch my head like ‘Why do people do this?’ Make no mistake about it, under the right circumstances I would probably be like ‘yeah I got a couple more left in the tank’.”

Right circumstances

Franklin doesn’t specify what ‘the right circumstances’ would be. But he was last seen filling in for a Covid-19 stricken Chatri Sityodtong at the ONE on Amazon Prime press conference in Los Angeles and probably has quite a lot on his plate right now.

ONE Championship is clearly targeting the lucrative American market and Franklin will be helping to spearhead that push. He held the UFC middleweight title from 2005 until 2006 and faced some of the biggest fighters of the era.

Franklin has been in with the likes of Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, Cung Le and Ken Shamrock. He admits it was initially hard to accept that his fighting days were over,

“You know the transition from fighter to executive was weird. When I first started working for ONE it took me probably a year and a half of going into the arena and not feeling I was there for a fight.”

Former fighter

But it seems like Franklin has finally come to terms with the fact that he is no longer a fighter himself,

“I’m sitting there the whole time, my stomach, everything was going. I hated the feeling, it took me a while and then I finally got to the point that (I thought) ‘I’m not on tonight. I’m just here to enjoy and watch’.”

Franklin clearly thinks he could make a successful comeback if he wanted to but is probably too busy with his day job right now. If ‘Ace’ did decide to follow in the footsteps of contemporaries like Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz by making a return to the cage there would definitely be plenty of interest in the fight.