Former UFC middleweight Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin spoke with Fight Hub recently to discuss fighter pay, and the topic inevitably came to how life after fighting has been for Franklin. What might surprise some fans is that, while Franklin was one of the top dogs in the octagon for a long time, he is not rolling in the dough that one would hope a champ would make.
Franklin had this to say during the interview:
I leave comfortable, but. Here’s the thing…the reality of my situation is I’m not…and you can tell this based on my career, my persona, I’m not the guy that’s rolling around in $250,000 sports cars. I’ve never spent money on stuff like that. I live a very modest lifestyle and I will probably the rest of my life.
I find value in experiences rather than material things. I’m the kind of person who would spend money to like, go observe lions in their natural habitat before I would buy a brand new sports car or something like that.
So, with that being said, I’ve made enough money that I could live my modest lifestyle comfortably for a little while, but I couldn’t retire for the rest of my life. If I could just retire for the rest of my life and never work, I don’t know that I would have opened up ZeLin as a business venture. Instead I would have just taken my passion for teaching people and would have done lifestyle lectures and motivational speeches for fun. I would do a bunch of charity work. I’ve done tons of things in the past for disabled veterans, for children’s hospital here in Cincinnati, I’ve been involved in a lot of different things.
So, I’m not going to put it on cruise control the rest of my life. I’m going to need another financial source to make money to live comfortably for the rest of my life.
My funds would definitely run out before my heartbeat did, that’s for sure.
Franklin was grateful for the way the UFC had consistently treated him and always followed through with him when they said they would do things. Unfortunately, Franklin was champ in the odd transition time when the UFC was just beginning to get more mainstream recognition, and fighter pay was still generally awful (Nate Quarry was paid 10K to fight Franklin for his belt way back at UFC 56 in 2005). Thankfully, the fighters of this era are doing much better in terms of finances, but the question begs to be seen how well the fighters will be once they hang up the gloves.
Transcript via Bloody Elbow