EXCLUSIVE | Rich Franklin on Fighting Le, China, Movies, and More
Rich Franklin takes on Cung Le on November 10th in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 6 also known as UFC MACAO. This event will be the UFC’s first event in greater China and is set to take place at the CotaiArena. The fight was in question for a time. Rumors of a Cung Le injury surfaced and at one point when I texted Rich and said congratulations that the fight was on, he told me I was the one breaking the news to him. With the uncertainty behind him now it’s full speed ahead.
“The fight is still on”, said Rich. “That was at a time that the UFC hadn’t called me and talked about it so nothing was confirmed. We actually went about a month ago and did some P.R. in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taipei. Those are the places I went. Cung went to a few other places, but we did like a week and a half of public relations while we were there. At this point and time the UFC would have invested a lot of money in to making this fight happen”.
China is a hotbed of traditional martial arts, but the question that remains is how they will receive the UFC’s brand of mixed martial arts. Rich was positive that things would go well.
“It was good. The reception was really good, Franklin said. “They played a lot off of that area being sort of the birthplace of martial arts and all of that kind of stuff. The society as a whole, the people there, they understand martial arts. They may not understand mixed martial arts, but they do understand martial arts. They understand a lot about Olympic combatives like boxing, wrestling, and judo. Taekwondo especially in that area. We related MMA to Chinese boxing and martial arts that people understand. It’s just a matter of them basically understanding the concept that the fight is standing and it can go to the ground. We just continued to go from there and I think the sport will be received very well. I would anticipate a sold out crowd. The venue there is about the same size as the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas”.
Always known for being a nice guy this time proved no different.
“When we did the P.R. for the UFC like I said I did Hong Kong, Macau, and Taipei. I know that Cung had gone to places of his own. This fight with Cung, as usual I don’t have to be fighting someone I don’t like to put on a good show. It doesn’t stop me from doing that kind of stuff”, stated Rich.
Rich took it even further.
“Cung and I spent a week together in Hong Kong and Macao. Pretty much he’s being trained by a guy that trained with me. Most days we had breakfast together and we were running around the whole week together. Hanging out the nights we were doing the P.R. stuff. It’s kind of funny because this whole week in Hong Kong chumming around like buddies”.