Cincinnati, Ohio – Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin underwent shoulder surgery yesterday to repair his torn labrum, an injury that occurred during a grappling practice last month. Franklin’s manager, JT Stewart, announced today the surgery was a complete success and that he is expected to make a full recovery.
“I spoke with Rich, he’s feeling great and as soon as the doctor gives him the go-ahead, he’s ready to start training again,” said Stewart. “If everything goes as expected, UFC fans could see Rich Franklin back in the Octagon in late summer.”
The surgery took place yesterday morning in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati. He will require several months of rehabilitation before returning to a full mixed martial arts training schedule.
Franklin was scheduled to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira as the co-main event of UFC 133, but the fight was pulled from the card when it was announced that Nogueira was injured and unable to compete. Franklin last fought at UFC 126 on February 5, 2011 in a light heavyweight bout against former 205-pound champion Forrest Griffin. Overall, he holds a record of 28-6-0, 1NC and has battled the who’s who of fighting legends in the UFC including Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Yushin Okami and Matt Hamill.
Holding a Master’s Degree in Education, Franklin was a high school Math teacher when he first started training in mixed martial arts. After finding success as professional fighter, he eventually left his career in education to pursue the sport full-time. In 2005, he reached the pinnacle in mixed martial arts when he defeated the late Evan Tanner to win the UFC middleweight title.
Since then, Franklin has risen as one of the most popular fighters in the world and a UFC fan favorite. He serves as a spokesperson for Disabled American Veterans, runs the successful lifestyle brand of clothing “American Fighter” and has recently entered the world of acting with roles in “Cyborg Soldier” and “The Hammer.”
In July, it was announced that Eric Eisner’s Double E Pictures will produce a film chronicling the story of Franklin’s life titled, “American Fighter.”