Rich Franklin vs Anderson Silva 1 and 2, UFC 64, Oct 2006 and UFC 77, Oct 2007
Some may argue that the middleweight division is weak and lacking of talent. I believe that this lack of lustre is not because the middleweight division lacks good fighters. It’s because the division is always over-shadowed by the over-populated UFC lightweight, welterweight, and light heavyweight divisions. On top of the perception that the middleweight division is not “stacked”, the weight class has been virtually dominated by one champion since 2006, Anderson Silva. Although it is always a delight to watch Anderson Silva fight, it’s understandably not as exciting when you kind of already know what the outcome of the fight is going to be right when it is announced.
By comparison, the middleweight division may not be as exciting, but it would be a grave a mistake to over-look the division. In this post, I wanted to draw our attention back to the middleweight division by looking back at the two fights between two of the most talented middleweight fighters in MMA history: Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva.
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Rich Franklin TEDx talk, 20 May 2014, Chicago
The topic of the talk is how to be an effective loser. A topic that, funny enough, is actually extremely suitable for Rich Franklin to talk about.
The former UFC Middleweight Champion giving an inspirational and insightful talk about losing. Losing is often one of the hardest things that fighters, and well, anyone has to deal with. However, more often than not, fighters improve not only as fighters but as human beings after losing. Another famous and insightful losing experience comes from Renzo Gracie. Renzo Gracie was the third Gracie to lose against Kazushi Sakuraba. His reflection on this loss showed that it may very well be considered a personal win.
Drawing from his extensive fight career, Rich Franklin has developed three ways to be an effective loser. Rich Franklin also gives examples of how to make decisions while under pressure, and how to deal with the fear of failing. Although his experience draws primarily from fighting, this talk could easily be relevant in a sports, corporate, and academic environment. I could just imagine Rich Franklin speaking about making decisions under pressure as a guest lecturer in an MBA classroom.
Rich Franklin defeated Evan Tanner in 2005 to win the UFC Middleweight Championship. He lost the belt to Anderson Silva in 2006 giving way to one of the most dominant UFC Champions in history. What makes Rich Franklin incredibly suitable to talk about losing are his win streaks. After turning pro, Rich Franklin had a 14 fight win streak (including one tie). His first loss was to Lyoto Machida in Kobe, Japan in a heavyweight fight. Rich Franklin went four years without losing! After losing to Lyoto Machida, Rich Franklin went on an eight fight win streak which was broken by Anderson Silva in 2006. These win streaks would have made losing especially difficult for Rich to deal with.
Also, it’s just really cool to see an MMA champ in the diverse line-up of TEDx speakers.