We will be going live at 6:00 PM ET with live results of UFC 103: “Franklin vs. Belfort”, which will take place at a sold out American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The event’s televised main card will be broadcast live on pay-per-view starting at 10:00 PM ET. An additional hour of preliminary bouts will also be shown on Spike TV starting at 9:00 PM ET prior to that.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort headlines the event, returning to the UFC in a 195 lb catchweight bout against former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin. A heavyweight contenders clash between formidable strikers Mirko Cro Cop and Junior Dos Santos serves as the co-main event.
In this extended video preview courtesy of the UFC, Saturday’s 195 lb catchweight mega-fight between former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort is profiled along with an anticipated heavyweight matchup between Mirko Cro Cop and Junior Dos Santos.
From the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye Festival in December 2003, here’s current UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida taking on former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin. The first part of the fight is above and the second is after the jump.
Vitor Belfort. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort has signed with the UFC and will fight former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin at UFC 103 on September 19 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.
Before the fall of Affliction, Belfort was scheduled to face Jorge Santiago and when Josh Barnett was pulled from the main event, Belfort’s name was tossed around as a possible opponent for Fedor Emelianenko.
Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson at UFC 93. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that UFC 103 will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout featuring former PRIDE welterweight and middleweight champion Dan Henderson taking on former UFC middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin. Also on the card will be a heavyweight bout between Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Junior Dos Santos.
Rich Franklin def. Wanderlei Silva - Unanimous Decision
Cain Velasquez def. Cheick Kongo - Unanimous Decision
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Mustapha Al-Turk - TKO Round 1 3:08
Mike Swick def. Ben Saunders - TKO Round 2 2:47
Spencer Fisher def. Caol Uno - Unanimous Decision
Dan Hardy def. Marcus Davis - Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Terry Etim def. Justin Buchholz - Submission (D’Arce Choke) Round 2
Dennis Siver def. Dale Hartt - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1
Paul Taylor def. Peter Sobotta - Unanimous Decision
Paul Kelly def. Roli Delgado - Unanimous Decision
Stefan Struve def. Denis Stojnic - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2
John Hathaway def. Rick Story - Unanimous Decision
Wanderlei Silva. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“I go to knock him out. I have trained so much and Rich won’t last two rounds. I think it is good Anderson has been preparing him. I hope he is also on the corner. I want to dare him to bet $50,000. I put these amount and Anderson or his sponsors, Ed Soares or Joinha, bet another part. Who wins takes the money.”
Longtime PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva tells Fighters Only Magazine that would be willing to bet former training partner Anderson Silva that he will be victorious within two rounds in his catch-weight bout against Rich Franklin at UFC 99 on June 13.
It looks like the war of words between the two Brazilians isn’t going to be ending anytime soon.
Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin. Image property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Reports circulated earlier this week that former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin would be using the services of an old rival, reigning pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva, in preparation for his upcoming catch-weight bout against Wanderlei Silva in June.
Franklin’s camp declined to confirm the news, which would have only escalated a growing feud between Anderson and Wanderlei, former training partners that now seem to be a collision course to face each other in the future. However, according to Silva, Franklin hasn’t even contacted him about training together:
He didn’t said any word to me about it, but he’s gonna face a Brazilian, so it’s hard that something will happen. I don’t have anything against Franklin [or] Wanderlei, both are great fighters. In another situation, I’d train with him, for sure. My gym is open for everyone. Whoever goes there can have classes and I won’t have any problems if he decides to go there.
I had to clean up the quote a little bit so it would make sense. I’m not sure how to take this. Tatame is a great site for news related to Brazilian fighters, but quotes are often skewed during the translation from Portugese to Englsih and so forth.
If Franklin and Silva really are training together, they could be keeping things quiet so the repercussions of Anderson helping another fighter get ready to face another Brazilian, and a former teammate at that, are relatively minimal. Franklin’s camp also using Anderson and Wand’s shaky relationship these days as mind games could also be a possibility as well.
Rich Franklin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The respective careers of Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva are at a crossroads, and their scheduled meeting at UFC 99 in June couldn’t come at a better time for the fighters themselves and fans alike. But with the bout taking place at a catch-weight of 195 lbs, almost no one knows where either Franklin or Silva go from here, except for Dana White:
“I met Rich in the middle,” UFC president Dana White said of the decision for the catchweight. “Rich didn’t want to cut weight. He didn’t want to go back to 85, and Wanderlei hasn’t been to 85 yet.
“I think it’s a fun fight and it will be a fun fight to watch,” said White.
Regardless of the outcome, Franklin will continue to compete at light heavyweight while Silva is expected to debut as a middleweight in his next scheduled bout following the Franklin fight.
The decision to go their separate ways is the best idea for both fighters. At middleweight, Franklin would just be knocking off potential title contenders, but at light heavyweight, he can challenge for a belt in a division he’s yet to conquer. No longer a real threat at light heavyweight, Silva will also find new territory at 185 lbs. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Rich Franklin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a battle of stars in career limbo, former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will reportedly take on former longtime PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99, which is scheduled to take place on June 13 in Cologne, Germany.
The news comes from MMA Weekly, which reports that both fighters have agreed to the fight. Bout agreements have not been issued, and won’t likely be for the next few weeks, but the matchup is said to possibly be happening at a catch-weight of 195 lbs.
After losing his UFC middleweight title to Anderson Silva and failing to regain it in a subsequent rematch, Franklin moved to the light heavyweight division where he previous found success early in his career, and went on to score a third-round TKO of Matt Hamill at UFC 88 before losing a razor-close split decision to Dan Henderson this past January at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland.
Silva was mired in the longest losing streak of his storied career, dropping three straight fights, before he bounced back to score an impressive first-round knockout of Keith Jardine at UFC 84 last May. Despite defeating Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in their two prior fights over in Japan years ago, SIlva was recently knocked out in the first round of their third meeting at UFC 92 in December.