Former UFC champion Rich Franklin has been announced as the next inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Franklin will be enshrined on Friday, July 5 in Las Vegas during the ceremonies, which air live on UFC Fight Pass. He will become the 16th member of the Pioneer Era wing.

“Rich Franklin is one of the original, big stars of UFC, from when we first bought the company,” UFC President Dana White said. “Rich helped us take the sport of mixed martial arts to another level and put UFC on the map during the early days. Rich has always been a class act. He’s a guy who would fight anyone and do whatever it took to help grow the sport of MMA. He is a true legend and I’m honored to call him my friend.”

A veteran of 37 professional fights during his 13-year career, Franklin compiled a record of 29-7, 1 NC (14-6 UFC), which included wins over UFC Hall of Famers Ken Shamrock and Chuck Liddell, former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner, and former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva.

“This induction is less of my doing and more of the culmination of the many hours each coach, training partner and my manager spent with me,” said Franklin. “So often people talk about the sacrifices an athlete has to make to succeed, but my friends and family sacrificed far more for my career. Few people in this world live out a childhood dream and turn a hobby into a career, let alone end with Hall of Fame recognition, and God has blessed me with both. I am humbled by the support of my fans over the years and those particularly persistent on this induction.”

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Franklin earned both his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Master’s degree in Education from the University of Cincinnati. Rich began his post-college career as an educator, teaching math at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati. His unique path to the Octagon led Franklin to become one of the sport’s most respected and popular ambassadors, as he helped to educate a generation of fans about MMA, making him a key figure in the growth of UFC following the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.

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