FORMER UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION Rich “Ace” Franklin is extremely methodical when it comes to his career. And he should be—he was a math teacher before he stepped into the ring. Franklin treats each fight as if it were a difficult equation, carefully assessing every little detail to get the right result. Now a One FC executive, he intends to use the same kind of calculating mindset to help the emerging promotion reach new heights. Follow his cues to solve for the missing variables in your own success formula.
Train to Be Automatic
Recently, I sat down and did some math, and found that I train over eight hours in preparation for every minute I spend in the cage. In a fight, when things [don’t go as expected], you have to reassess your game plan. It all goes back to your training. Training has to be second nature to you. You have to be executing things that are as normal to you as breathing air. If you haven’t worked through training that much, then it’s not going to come out that way.
Say No to Complacency
While we were preparing for the Chuck Liddell fight, my boxing coach had me doing this overhand right because I stand southpaw. We looked at tapes of Chuck, and what he does is when he thinks someone’s hurt, he gets overly aggressive. We kind of worked at stepping back with my lead foot and unloading this overhand right for when he overcommitted. I remember one particular day, my coach was going, “Again, again, again,” and I kept on dumping this overhand right. I looked at him and said, “I’m done throwing this punch!” He just straight-faced looked at me and said, “Throw it again!” We continued, [but] I was mentally burned out. Fast-forward to the fight and that’s how I won. It was the biggest “I told you so” moment.
Work with Your Limitations
For the last couple of years, I’d been thinking of what I was going to do when I’m done fighting. Rewind the clock three years ago and I wasn’t ready to retire yet. But you start thinking, “I see the light at the end of the tunnel—what’s next?” Then you start seeing options. The most natural progression for fighters is to own a gym. I don’t have [such] aspirations. I like training fighters, but there are a lot of other things that you need to do in order to make a gym successful. That really wasn’t an option for me.
STICK WITH YOUR CORE VALUES
I met with executives from One FC, and we talked about the possibility of holding a position with them. When that became real, I looked at things I can bring to the table. As a champion in the MMA world, I basically started from the ground and built a championship-level career. It takes a lot of focus and dedication to do that. And here I am, now working for an organization that wants to succeed the same way [I did]. I couldn’t ask for a better job.
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