Jeff Vinnick/Zuffa LLC
Rich Franklin talks about retiring rather than using testosterone replacement if he feels he can't compete at a normal level in the UFC.
Prior to UFC 141 and his bout with Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin said on The MMA Hour that he had "kicked around" the idea of using Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). A former champion who is now getting up in age, Franklin would join an ever growing list of UFC fighters therapeutically boosting their testosterone to levels associated with much younger men.
Franklin has now told ESPN that he doesn't plan to use TRT at any point, saying he's more likely to retire when age leaves him too faded:
"The public perception of TRT is that it’s cheating," Franklin told ESPN.com. "The moment I said I was actually thinking about it, I started getting quite a bit of backlash."
"I don't believe I've dropped off with my speed or strength or any of that," Franklin said. "You can't look at my last fight and say, ‘Yeah, Rich has lost a step and is looking older.'
"When that day comes, perhaps I will consider quitting or possibly taking TRT. More than likely, in my mind, I'll choose retirement over the necessity of TRT to continue."
Rich also went on to say that he thinks a win over Cung Le at UFC on Fuel 6 will leave him close to a title shot now that he's settling back in to fighting at an actual weight class rather than at catchweights.
I'm not sure how keen the UFC would be on a third fight between Franklin and Anderson Silva, but that does seem like the kind of fight Anderson would be into. And the nostalgia of a rematch of such a "historic" rivalry (albeit a lopsided one) might be a bit tempting for the promotion.