Five Business Lessons from the UFC Cage


UFC Champion Rich Franklin knows what it’s like to feel as though work is punching you in the face—literally. Now a high school math teacher, Franklin bring a no-nonsense, all-out attitude to the classroom, and his 2014 Chicago Ideas Week Talk. Learn how to approach your own work like a ultimate fighter and bounce back when work gets you down.

[vimeo_embed src=”″/]

1. Money does not equal success.

“If you’re the type of person who believes that you can be motivated by some material object, or some sort of money…you’re [going to] find that it’s a lonely place if you actually get there.”

2. Spring back into the cage: Love the reason you get up for work every day.

“If you really want to accomplish something great, you need to sit down and you need to figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing… Prior to fighting, I was a high school math teacher, and the reason why I decided to teach high school math is because I had a passion for helping people.”

3. Never stop working…

“Nothing beats hard work…I basically built an entire professional career off of this principle.”

4. …Except to strategically plan your next move.

“There’s one thing that trumps hard work, and that’s smart work…. I’ll take a loss, I’ll reevaluate my loss— see what I’ve done right, see what I’ve done wrong—utilize the useful information, get rid of the rest.”

 5. Don’t be okay with silver.

“There are seven billion people on this planet, and only one person can be a champion in a weight class at any given time. So what makes you different than the other seven billion? Do you actually do things to make yourself better at your job?”


Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.