Rich Franklin steps in for the injured Belfort against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147
TORONTO - Former middleweight champion Rich Franklin, no stranger to stepping in for injured fighters, will replace Vitor (The Phenom) Belfort against Wanderlei (The Axe Murderer) Silva in the main event of UFC 147.
The five-round bout on June 23 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, will be fought at a catchweight of 190 pounds. Belfort-Silva was to have been at middleweight (185) but Franklin has been campaigning at light-heavyweight in recent times (205).
Franklin and Silva met at UFC 99 in June 2009 in Germany, where Franklin earned a decision win in a contest that earned both men a fight of the night bonus.
Belfort was sidelined by a hand injury in training. He and Silva (34-11-1 with one no contest) have been serving as rival coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter Brazil."
Franklin (28-6 with one no contest) had been training to meet Cung Le at UFC 148. He also served as an emergency replacement for Tito Ortiz against Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell at UFC 115 in Vancouver in June 2010.
Franklin is coming off a UFC 126 loss to Forrest Griffin.
Silva beat Le at UFC 139 last time out.
The co-main event at UFC 147 will feature heavyweights Fabricio Werdum and Mike Russow.
The card will also feature an all-Brazilian heavyweight battle between Yuri Alcantara and Hacran Dias and a featherweight bout between Felipe Arantes and Milton Vieira.
The remainder of the UFC 147 card will feature contestants from the Brazilian TV show.
In other UFC news, welterweight Rick (The Horror) Story is now onto his third opponent for a televised show June 22 in Atlantic City, N.J.
Story was due to meet Rich Attonito, then Papy Abedi and now Brock Jardine (9-1).
With Jimy Hettes also out due to injury, featherweight Joey Gambino will face Steven Siler on the same card. Gambino remains undefeated thus far in his pro career but will face his toughest test against the very experienced Siler.
And for the second time in six months, an injury has stopped Matthew Riddle from meeting Luis (Beicao) Ramos. Matt (The Immortal) Brown steps in for Riddle.
Ramos and Riddle were due to fight at UFC 141 in Las Vegas, but Riddle became sick the day of the event.