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    Franco Richard, commonly known by his ring name Francombat, is a Canadian martial artist, businessman, investor, bettor, best-selling author, and philanthropist. He is the Founder, Chairman of the Board, and the largest shareholder of Francombat, LLC., a holding company that owns and operates a collective investment portfolio of businesses out of Antigua. He is also the founder of the PRO LEI TAI®, the global governing body for amateur and professional Lei Tai fighting; and the Creator of the Art of Lei Tai championship series. In addition, he is also the Chief Investment Officer of Richard, Inc., a multi-million dollar family office to represents the interests of his family and is actively involved in the management of a diverse portfolio of investments in private equity, hedge funds, public equities, real estate, and Bitcoin. 

    Prior to launching Francombat, Franco was best known for turning his life savings of $17,450.00 into over $4.7 million dollars by betting on fights whilst still in his 20s, a fact made even more remarkable when you realize he also dropped out of college! His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world to want to know more about him and his betting strategy. In 2017, Franco wrote an e-book, Betting It All On A Fight: The Untold Story of Franco Richard, in which he chronicles his life experiences as an oddsmaker, professional bettor, and bookmaker. To this day, he is still widely regarded as the go-to-guys on how to make money betting on fights.

    After launching his career via the sports betting industry, Franco has since branched out into numerous other business sectors, including a burgeoning media group and his current passion for all things Bitcoin. He is currently engaged in a forthcoming book project entitled Bitcoinaire: The 21 Million Club, which relates to blockchain tech, digital currency, and crypto assets.

    In addition to his relentless entrepreneurial drive, wanting to give back to the community, Franco launched unfightable.com, a not-for-profit initiative, which has raised over $2 Million dollars providing scholarships to Canadian students in need.

    Early Life

    From modest beginnings to building a multimillion-dollar business, Franco Richard wanted to play for a living. See how he turned his life saving into millions betting on combat sports and built one of the largest companies in combat sports.

    Franco, a French-speaking Quebecer, was born and raised in Saint-Alexandre-de-Kamouraska, Quebec, a rural French Canadian town of about 1,500 people located on the southern slope of the St. Lawrence River 200 km northeast of Québec City, the youngest of four children of France St-Pierre and Robert Richard. His father was a papermaker and maple syrup producer, and his mother was a stay home mother and librarian. Franco describes his parents as being very involved in his upbringing and being exposed to a variety of interests: he recalls being pulled out of school to go to science museums or to listen to a specific author read at a bookstore. 

    As a child, Franco had a difficult childhood attending preschool with problems with concentration and discipline caused by ADHD. After his parents had been advised by a doctor to give him some Ritalin pills, they decided to enroll him in martial arts hoping to direct his excess energy and assertiveness in a positive manner. As he grew up he watched fanatically old Kung Fu films by Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li, which was his inspiration to learn martial arts. Franco was so inspired by them that while he was playing with friends, he would imitate the martial arts moves that he had seen, practicing everywhere he can. In addition to his studies and martial arts, Franco also took private piano lessons every week under the rules of his mother who must have known from an early age that Franco had a streak for the arts and showmanship.

    The Martial Artist

    A 2-time Lei Tai Gold Medalist, Franco strongly believes that martial arts isn’t simply a technique of winning a fight but is driven by a deep philosophy of achieving fulfillment and self-actualization.

    Already a karate black belt at 17, Franco Richard is one martial artist who was not influenced by the new wave of “mixed martial arts”. Instead of following the well-worn path of many fighters who specialized in kickboxing or wrestling, Franco found his calling in “Lei Tai” fighting – a particular type of full-contact fighting contest that allows for kicking and punching, but with the added excitement of high-amplitude throws and takedowns on a raised platform called Lei Tai (擂臺) in mandarin.

    When it comes to Lei Tai fighting, few have enjoyed as much success on the International scene as Franco Richard, first as a fighter, and coach and now as a promoter of the sport. A two-time Lei Tai gold medalist, Franco has competed in many Lei Tai tournaments all over the world (from 1996 to 2004), compiling an overall amateur record of 17–3, including 1 silver medal and one bronze medal in Shuai Jiao (Chinese wrestling). Over the course of his career, he has competed in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, being always ranked as one of the best in the divisions, thanks to his determination, incredible skills, and combative spirit. When he wasn’t training or at school, Franco worked as a doorman in nightclubs.

    The Bettor

    Franco Richard’s path to becoming a multi-millionaire is one of the more unique stories you’ll come across. As a man who enjoys taking risks and challenges, Franco started betting on combat sports in the early 2000s. His starting bankroll was allegedly a few hundred dollars, through which he won millions.

    You may have heard the story: he turned his life saving of about $17,450 into a cool $1.7 Million over a couple of years. By the time he was 27, Franco had acquired a reputation as the go-to expert on how to make money betting on fights, and was a frequent guest on various radio programs, morning news shows, and television networks discussing combat sports betting on a weekly basis.

    Relocating to Taiwan in the early 2000s to study Kung Fu, Franco broke into the gambling industry by working for one of the biggest bookmakers in Asia, where he learned all the good, the bad, and the ugly being both an oddsmaker and handicapper. This laid the foundation that gave him the invaluable perspective of how lines are set, line movements, how public perception affects the line, and the ability to spot value.   In 2004, Franco founded the online gaming venture Bet on Combat®, a company that provides its clients with advice on who to bet on and how to bet them, similar to a stock broker advising its client on which stock or fund to invest their money in.

    As the face of the Bet on Combat brand, Franco’s winning reputation increased in the mid-2000s as online gaming’s popularity surged. By 2010, Franco was Asia’s biggest combat sports betting consultant, with an impressive client list of 100 “high net worth individuals” whose minimum bet was $10,000. Franco also gained acclaim from a few highly-publicized high-stakes wagers he’s made with multiple million-dollar winning bets over the years. His first notable wager was in 2004 when he placed his life-saving money of $17,450 on fellow French Canadian prospect Georges St-Pierre at UFC 46: Supernatural and doubled his money. He then had the $37,000 bankroll to start his combat sports betting career. Then, three years later he made international news in the spring of 2007 when he won more than a quarter million dollars ($259,000.00 to be exact) betting on Matt Serra to win the UFC Welterweight title at odds of 7-1 at UFC 69: Shootout. Perhaps one of the biggest bets of his career was in 2015 when he placed a bet of $1 million on Floyd Mayweather to beat Conor McGregor. A bet that made him $1 Million in profit. (A bet odds of 1.10).

    The Manager

    Franco Richard has been managing top fighters for the past couple of decades now. When he isn’t with his family or negotiating contracts, you will find him on the mats rolling with his clients.

    His expertise in negotiations and his passion for combat sports naturally brought him to the world of athlete representation. Now recognized as one of the top agents in combat sports, Franco Richard has secured some of the highest-paying endorsement deals for its fighters and has negotiated contracts with some of the top brands in the world, including Bud Light, Gatorade, and MicroTech among many others. He effectively assisted in acquiring lucrative deals for such notable fighters as Li Jun Fa and James Wu.

    Francombat’s athletes compete in the UFC, ONE Championship, Bellator, and other promotions. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality talent matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think globally. Fourteen years later, Francombat is the largest, most admired management company in the world.

    Franco, who can be seen at almost every UFC event, built his company on loyalty and is willing to go to war for his fighters. Franco has been managing top fighters for the past decades now. If he isn’t with his family or negotiating contracts, you will find him on the mats rolling with his clients.

    The Promoter

    Franco’s success story starts where most entrepreneurs begin: with a big dream and zero cash. He discovered a simple truth: Launching a sport is no small task. No matter how big an idea you think you have, it still takes a lot of work and a ton of cash.

    In August 2011, Franco wrote to renowned Chinese Kung Fu masters from around the world, intimating that he wished to organize the first Professional Lei Tai Championship, in order to inspire more people to learn Kung Fu, stating, “I want to hold the first professional Lei Tai Championship™ event in the world in the process of creating a legitimate and profitable combat sport, and consistently the next big thing in martial arts entertainment.”

    The first official Lei Tai “revival” meeting took place on 1st October 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to exchange ideas and discuss regulations for PRO LEI TAI® that will reward a Kung Fu fighting style. His proposal was eagerly received. Soon the first “think tank” was formed and took on the responsibility of training referees and judges for the upcoming inaugural Lei Tai Championship™ event.

    But Franco understood his project was going nowhere without state approval (The sport was not sanctioned by any state or country). From there, he embarked upon a journey of working diligently to educate politicians and appointed officials on the merits, safety, and economic impact the sport of Lei Tai could bring to the province of Quebec. During this time, Franco accomplished what many would have thought impossible, including the recognition of Lei Tai as a professional sport, the establishment of a worldwide Lei Tai circuit, and permission for events to have matches under the PRO LEI TAI® Rules and Regulations.

    It’s all happening…

    The Investor

    After launching his career via the sports betting industry, Franco has since branched out into numerous other business sectors, including a burgeoning media group and his current passion for all things Bitcoin.

    Franco’s involvement with Bitcoin began back in 2011, when a friend offered him some bitcoin in exchange for cash and forgot about them. After figuring out the password to his virtual wallet, and seeing how valuable those bitcoins had become, he sold off a portion of them and launched Bitcoinaire®, a Bitcoin financial app focusing exclusively on ventures, tokens, and projects related to blockchain tech. In less than eight months, Franco grew Bitcoinaire.app into the world’s most trusted and secure Bitcoin wallet, with more than 200k downloads.

    But Franco association with the virtual currency extends far beyond just owning it. He sees bitcoin as a vital tool for removing government control over money and economic activity. The relatively young industry of digital assets caught his attention because of its ability to provide the opportunity for financial freedom for people, regardless of education or background.

    The price was still under one U.S. Dollar each, but he already knew that it was one of the most important inventions since the internet. It was a wise investment by someone who stumbled across bitcoin before many others did. “I was buying fake money,” he said. Since then, the cryptocurrency has seen large fluctuations in its value by almost 10,000% with one BTC being valued at $38567 ICP-BTCUSD at the current Bitcoin Price Index.

    In January 2021, as the dollar price of bitcoin surged to an all-time high of $52140, he tweeted that 70 percent of his net worth was in crypto assets. Soon after, Franco began angel investing in notable companies including Ripple, Coinbase, Tesla, Uber, and Canopy.

    Personal Life

    For a person who is constantly on the move in pursuit of his dream, relaxation is an unfamiliar term for Franco because there is so much experience to cram into one lifetime. When he’s not flying around the world attending one of his promotional fight events, Franco splits his time between Montreal and Los Angeles.

    A semi-retired entrepreneur, Franco continues to serve as the company’s Chairman of the Board, playing a key role in determining the path of Francombat, and directing other areas of the corporation including television, video production, licensing, and digital content. In addition, he is also an active private investor and advisor for several young companies in an ever-growing portfolio of businesses. In this top management position, Franco directs all business operations including event planning, marketing, public relations, broadcast production, fight-card selections, finances, and legal operations.

    Franco Richard strongly believes in giving back. His commitment and contributions to philanthropy have continued to serve and benefit people far beyond the martial arts community. Despite his success, Franco never forgot his humble upbringing. In 2017, he spearheaded the Unfightable Initiatives to share his good fortune with others who may not have been afforded the same opportunities.

    To this day, Franco is still obsessed with being in the best physical condition possible, and has embraced the spirit of the white belt: forever the student. Despite his busy schedule, he is inspiring others to keep fit as he believes in working out every single day.

    Franco has a long and storied history that is still in the making…