My favorite thing about Rich Franklin (other than the fact that he’s a Young Earth Creationist) is that he used to be a school teacher before getting into MMA full time. He’s like one half Here Comes The Boom, and he talked about the transition with MMA Fighting:
“I would have never predicted this,” he said. “I was teaching high school in 2002. I quit my job and was teaching part-time until three weeks before my title fight (in 2005 when he beat Evan Tanner to become UFC middleweight champion). I was still teaching in the at-risk program when I decided to quit my job. I never thought it would end up like this. I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll do this for a few years, it’ll be cool, and then I’ll go back to teaching.’ That’s how things would have been had UFC stayed where it was. I’ve been with the company almost ten years, the same time the sport has exploded. I was on the main card for the Ultimate Fighter 1 final, fought Ken Shamrock, then got the title fight, and the sport blew up.
“When I started working for UFC, there were 12 people in the office. Now I walk in, very few of the original 12 remain. I walk in, and I don’t even recognize half the people. I remember doing interviews and being asked about what the ceiling was for UFC. My predictions on growth were way smaller than what ended up happening. I have no clue where it’s going. If I fast forward seven years, I have no idea where it’ll be.”
The biggest sport in the world! Bigger than soccer! Come on, Rich. Get your UFC talking points straight!