Had the opportunity to get another interview. Last time was with Bjorn Rebney of Bellator, this time was able to get an interview with Rich Franklin via email. Was weird doing it via email since I didn't have the opportunity to follow up with anything or go deeper. Overall I feel like I could've done a lot better but I'm still just doing this for fun and learning and having the opportunity to ask Rich anything, especially this close to his fight was cool. Hope you enjoy it and any critiques or suggestions are appreciated. If you like it give my site a hit at www.ctmmanews.com
CTMMANews.com: Rich, thanks for taking the time to talk to us so close to your headlining fight against Chuck Lidell at UFC 115.
Firstly, we all saw on last weeks TUF episode you coming in to replace Tito Ortiz. Rumors of this were flying across the internet and Twitter long before. You coached the second season from beginning to end, what was your goal coming in as a Coach with only 6 days and one active fighter?
Rich Franklin: I didn't know if Tito was still going to be there when I arrived. I was told he was injured and they needed a someone to step up and fight Chuck. Dana had not decided if Tito was going to stay or not. I didn't know how many fighters I had left...I was walking into the situation blindly. Ultimately, anytime you undertake something like that, your concern if for you fighter.
CTMMANews.com: Overall have you enjoyed your coaching experiences on The Ultimate Fighter? Do you think coaching is something you would pursue in the future?
Rich Franklin: I definitely enjoy the experience working with the guys. I'm not sure what the future holds for me. I enjoy helping some of the guys at the gym out now, but it is difficult to commit completely when I am still actively pursuing my own career.
CTMMANews.com: In your short time with the fighters on the show, did anyone in particular stand out to as someone to watch for in the future?
Rich Franklin: It would be difficult to assess during the final week when the remainder of my team was out of the competition. Many were injured and the others were focused on helping Kris prepare.
CTMMANews.com: We saw in the sneak peek for the next episode that your assistant coaches were Gray Maynard and Forrest Griffin. Have you been training with Xtreme Couture for your upcoming fight or were they brought in by Dana? (If so, who at that camp has been helping you prepare? Have you gained any insight from Randy Couture’s personal experience with fighting Lidell?)
Rich Franklin: I have not been training at Xtreme Couture's, I stayed in Cincinnati with my coaches Rob Radford, Neal Rowe and Jorge Gurgel. I also worked with Matt Hume before my camp started. As for the assistant coaches...until I see it on TUF, I don't talk about it.
CTMMANews.com: You’ve stated many times that at this point in your career that you want big fights and this is certainly another big name fight. Obviously you’re focus is on Chuck but where do you think a win here puts you in the division rankings? What are some other fights in the division that interest you stylistically?
Rich Franklin: I am not sure where this fight puts me in the division, and I'm not concerned at this point. I have no great desire to battle any one fighter in particular, I typically do what I am asked by the UFC and God will worry about the details.
CTMMANews.com: Normally before a big fight people would be asking about gameplans but with you and Chuck there doesn’t seem to be the same question. The assumption is we’re going to see the unorthodox slugger vs the technical striker. Have you made any adjustments in your camp for Chuck or do you feel your footwork and technique, which has always been your biggest weapon, is the way to win?
Rich Franklin: Well that leaves me to question which one of us is the technical striker. Adjustments are made for each opponent I face, and I am very confident in the game plan for this fight.
CTMMANews.com: In addition to fighting you’ve been doing some acting ranging from commercials to movies. Is something your looking to continue in? Do you have any other future opportunities in the works?
Rich Franklin: Nothing is lined up for future film opportunities yet, but it is something I would be willing to pursue a bit in the future. Although I have dabbled, fighting is still my focus.
CTMMANews.com: Would you like to mention any sponsors you'd like our readers to check out?
Rich Franklin: Everybody associates me with American Fighter (www.AmericanFighter.com), and we have teamed up with Tapout. I work with a supplement company called Star Chem, and I never forget my disabled Vets (www.DAV.org).
CTMMANews.com: Good luck on June 12th Rich and thanks again for talking with us