Fans in Brazil no doubt let out a collective sigh of relief when it was revealed former UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin had stepped up to fill in for the injured Vitor Belfort in a headlining bout against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147. Franklin is one of the organization’s most popular fighters based on his accomplishments in the Octagon and aesthetically pleasing style.
UFC 147 is scheduled for June 23 in Brazil with a remarkably low number of confirmed clashes at this stage of the game. However, the event will feature Fabricio Werdum-Mike Russow as well as the finals of TUF Brasil.
The 28-6 Franklin has been out since last year with an injured shoulder but was already scheduled to fight in early July indicating his health should not be an issue come showtime. “Ace” is 3-3 in his last six outings including wins over Silva, Matt Hamill, and Chuck Liddell.
As mentioned, Silva’s scrap with Franklin will give “The Axe Murderer” an opportunity to avenge a 2009 outpointing to his newly named adversary. He has gone 2-1 since with victories against Michael Bisping and most recently Cung Le.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC