Acesway gets a minute with rich franklin by Bill Daria

Bill:  Hey Rich, I know you just got back from your fight in Brazil and you are probably still trying to unwind, but we appreciate you giving us a few minutes to answer a few questions for your fans.  Before we get into nutrition, lets talk about the fight. How did you feel to finally climb into the cage after nearly a year and a half layoff?

Rich:  Well, to be honest, I had a ton riding on this fight. I hadn’t fought since February of 2011, and had major shoulder surgery in October of last year. I was moving down a weight class for the first time in several years. I was prepping for a specific opponent on exactly the other side of the globe, and had to pack up and come home with only a couple weeks notice for the fight. My camp was cut short by 2 weeks, and the fight was switched from a 3 rounder to a 5 rounder. I headed to Wanderlei’s home country and had the pressure of performing as the finale of TUF Brazil’s main event…after the Maynard and Guida fight was lackluster the night before. I would say I put a bit of pressure on myself. Not to mention, the airlines lost my luggage on the way to Brazil with some of my crucial fight gear. I had to have a dentist make a custom mouthpiece 2 days before the fight. That is something you need to train in to build your comfort level…like a new pair of shoes that need to be broken in.

Bill:  Would you like to comment on the monkey act against the cage after the groin shot? Sorry, had to ask.

Rich:  I guess “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye was playing over and over in my head during the autopilot state of the third round J Really, when you get hit in the groin, you need to stretch and stomp to get things to drop. It is very effective as the remainder of my 3rd round may show. It is unfortunate I did that in front of millions of people…hahaha

Bill:  Let’s talk about the “autopilot” as you call it. Do you remember any of that fight, and if not, does that worry you?

Rich:  I remember the first round and the fifth. Rounds 2,3 and 4 are a blur that I remember bits and pieces of. Yes this concerns me, especially after seeing all the reports concerning football players in the NFL regarding concussions. I think about this kind of stuff more now that I am a bit older. The key is to take time down and not get hit in the head during training.

Bill:  Not many fighters could recover from that second round, how did you?

Rich:  Well, I think a big part of that comes down to my conditioning. My conditioning coach Mike Ferguson puts me through hell. If I can make it through his workout, I can make it through anything.

Bill:  Do you think the layoff helped you? Did you feel any ring rust, and how did the surgery play a part?

Rich:  At this age, a layoff always helps me recover both physically and mentally. I am very strict with my nutrition, even in my downtime, so my body never falls out of shape. I don’t think I experienced any ring rust, did it look like I had any? The shoulder felt great. I listened to the doctors during my rehab and waited until I knew my shoulder was 100% to return to the cage. I was ahead of the charts on my healing timeline, and I believe that has much to do with the way I take care of my body…especially the way I eat.
I also felt very comfortable coming into the ring, and that comes down to my training. After the switch, my coaching staff came up with a great game plan. Rob Radford devised the footwork and overall boxing game plan. I worked my kicks with Neal Rowe, and I believe some of those body shots took it out of him. Jorge worked extensively on my ground game, although I didn’t need much of it. I came into this fight very confidently.

Bill:  I know you are a big advocate of nutrition, how would you advise someone to begin a new nutrition plan they can stick to?

Rich:  Well, this website has some good articles about proper mindset, and I would recommend checking many of them out. However, most people bite off more than they can chew…no pun intended. If you need to do a complete overhaul, I always tell people to start with breakfast. Nothing in this world will last without a proper foundation. Many people don’t take the time for breakfast, and rather than trying to correct 5 or 6 meals in a day, let’s start with the first. Once that becomes habit, move onto more meals.

Bill:  What does the breakfast of champions look like?

Rich:  Well mine is a green smoothie I make with kale, spinach, berries, lemon juice and water blended (not juiced). I follow that with 2 tablespoons of fish oil, and a protein shake with oats. Sometimes instead of oats, I will let myself eat rice krispies and use my chocolate protein shake as the milk. Most people think I force myself to eat crap that doesn’t taste good, but I enjoy the food I eat. I enjoy biscuits and gravy too, but you have to train your taste buds to crave healthy food. Um, that is a reference to an article on the website J
I’ve been preaching this green smoothie for some time now, and have a video on my website explaining how I made it. I used to make it with nearly a dozen ingredients, but I dumbed it down to make it easier. This seems to be the latest fad in Hollywood now too.

Bill:  Since this was your first weight cut in years, what did your nutrition look the week of the fight?

Rich:  One of my cornermen brought a blender for us. I did several smoothies per day. I had cut my starchy carbohydrates by Monday afternoon, so all I had fight week until after weigh-ins was fiber and sugar from my fruit. From Tuesday on, I eat three meals per day. They consist of something like a green smoothie and a 4 ounce chicken breast. I am below 1000 calories for sure, which sounds like a lot, but I usually eat over 4000. Friday I don’t eat anything until after weigh-ins…save a few prunes for breakfast. Most of my weight cut is done with water restriction and sauna work of some sort though. This is not an intelligent way to lose weight…both the nutrition or the water loss.

Bill:  And your post weigh-in meal, what do you eat or drink after the scale?
Rich:  As soon as I stepped off the scale, I had coconut water with a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich. I start the process slow so I do not upset my stomach. I typically have 2 liters of coconut water and 2 of those sandwiches within 45 minutes of being off the scale. Later that evening, I prefer to do pasta of some sort. The process is all about carb loading for me. I usually put on 20ish pounds by the time I fight the next day.

Bill:  What about after the fight? Do you relax with your nutrition for awhile?
Rich:  I typically take a couple days to eat whatever I want. It helps with all the travel too. I am usually back on my nutrition within 3-4 days…it is just a way of life for me.

Bill:  Any final words?
Rich:  I’d just like to thank Jesus Christ for keeping me and my opponent safe, my coaching staff for helping me get ready, and Beth…my only fan that came in from the US. The Brazilian fans were great and received me well.

Interview by Bill Daria

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