The UFC was left in a tricky situation over the weekend when middleweight Vitor Belfort announced he’d broken his hand and would be forced out of a scheduled scrap with Wanderlei Silva as a result. Both Brazilian legends served as coaches on TUF Brasil and have had a longstanding rivalry, plus the match-up was set to serve as the main event for UFC 147.
With very few options out there the organization turned to a familiar face, Rich Franklin, who has agreed to step up on short notice and face Silva. UFC officials announced the change earlier today. It was also revealed the fight would take place at 190 pounds and involves a five-round format.
The 37-year old Franklin holds a 2009 decision win over Silva and is a former divisional champion. He is 28-6 in his career with 25 finishes and past victories over Ken Shamrock and Chuck Liddell. “Ace” was previously booked for a bout against Cung Le at UFC 148.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: With the limited number of choices the UFC made a good call. Franklin is fairly iconic plus Silva still has a chance to get revenge for a loss in front of his fellow Brazilians.