In January 2001, Franklin won a no-contest (NC) bout against Aaron Brink to secure the IFC Light Heavyweight Championship title.
In June 2005, the former high school mathematics teacher defeated Evan Turner to win the UFC Middleweight Championship.
He then defended his title twice, first against Nate Quarry in November 2005 and then David Loiseau in March 2006.
In June 2010, Franklin defeated Chuck Liddell, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion widely credited for bringing MMA into the mainstream of American sports and entertainment, and was awarded UFC 115's "Knockout of the Night."
He also starred in the 2008 film Cyborg Soldier.
Franklin has a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in education from the University of Cincinnati.