Rich Franklin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
A planned light heavyweight attraction between Rich Franklin and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been removed from the UFC 133 card after Nogueira suffered an undisclosed injury during a recent training session and was forced to withdraw from the bout.
The UFC announced on Saturday that it was ultimately unable to find a replacement opponent for Rich Franklin and has decided to use his services at a later date. The company's light heavyweight division has been plagued by an injury bug as of late, prompting changes in nearly every major 205 lb fight scheduled in recent weeks.
Vitor Belfort's middleweight clash with Yoshihiro Akiyama has been promoted to co-main event status and a welterweight contest between Brian Ebersole and Dennis Hallman will be shifted to the event's main card.
Nogueira is currently riding a two-fight losing streak. Following an impressive UFC debut in the form of a stoppage win over Luiz Cane, the former PRIDE standout has dropped two consecutive decisions to Ryan Bader and Phil Davis respectively.
Franklin would have entered the bout looking to bounce back from a disappointing unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 126 in February. The former UFC middleweight champion plans on staying at light heavyweight despite his recent setbacks.
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