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Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort set to headline UFC 103 (UPDATED)

Vitor Belfort

Editors Note: Rich Franklin has just stated via his Twitter account that this bout will take place at 195 pounds.

Acknowledging that fans were not satisfied with an announced main event on Sept. 19 at UFC 103 in Dallas between Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, UFC President Dana White broke the news to the media during a Friday afternoon conference call that Vitor Belfort will be returning to the UFC and will re-debut at UFC 103 vs. Franklin.

Although Belfort has recently expressed his desire to compete at 185 pounds, this bout with Franklin is set to take place in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division.

Franklin is coming off of a hard fought FOTN performance victory over Wanderlei Silva, while Belfort is fresh off of a crushing knockout over Matt Lindland for the now non-existent Affliction fight promotion.

White indicated that Henderson will likely now be the next contender to challenge current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

23 COMMENTS
  • edub says:

    Sam or Corey you know what weight?

    I was under the impression Rich didnt wanna go back to 185 and Vitor didnt wanna fight at 205.

  • edub says:

    Sam or Corey you know what weight?

    I was under the impression Rich didnt wanna go back to 185 and Vitor didnt wanna fight at 205.

  • David Andrest says:

    reported as a 205 fight

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Great fight, can’t bitch, but they should have had Vitor fight Hendo for #1 Contender

  • Rich S. says:

    This is an awesome fight, but I REALLY want Vitor to stay down at 185… It seems like he was reborn at MW, and I don’t want to see anymore performances like his last few in the UFC at 205..

  • Rich S. says:

    This is an awesome fight, but I REALLY want Vitor to stay down at 185… It seems like he was reborn at MW, and I don’t want to see anymore performances like his last few in the UFC at 205..

  • edub says:

    Man I hate this. Why do they say they listen to fans and then make this fight that seemingly will put neither fighter in a higher position. Im with you Ozz its gonna be a great fight and ill definately watch it but it should have definately been Vitor vs. Hendo for the 185 lb #1 contender spot.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Spot on, Rich S. & edub. Reborn or reinvented, one of the two. At 185, the guy is just an ANIMAL!!

    But yeah, good point, where does this leave either fighter? Rich beats him, then what? Vitor beats Rich, then what?

    Either way he needs to stay 185 where he can dominate.

    Maybe it’s about legacy?
    LHW division is the pinnacle of the UFC…..?

  • Jstew3785 says:

    This fight is better, but it makes about as much sense as Henderson vs Franklin. At least they didn’t stick Vitor in there with a massive LHW. Someone like Forrest Griffin who is actually around 230 when they step in the cage. Rich Franklin doesn’t cut any weight and neither will Vitor at 205. I bet they both weigh in around 202 or 203lbs. Still, I don’t understand the logic behind this one at all. I hope Vitor goes down and stays at 185 after this.

  • edub says:

    Rich still has to cut to get to 205. Just not as much.He walks around at 220. Theres a reason he used to be referred to as the biggest guy at 185.

  • Davey D says:

    At 205 lbs…this is a great fight. I’m pumped for this one. I gotta say my money is on Ace to take this. Should be a fantastic burn burner!!!

  • dpk says:

    Should be an exciting fight, both guys love to stand and bang. A win for Vitor launches him back into the UFC, and one win at MW would put him in line for a title shot.

  • anferny says:

    the fist thing that came to my mind as soon as i read this headline:
    Hendo will face Wanderlei and the winner will get a shot at A.Silva (i expect S.Rua to go down vs. Anderson)
    Sure – W.Silva hasnt really “deserved” to ba this close to a title shot, but if A.Silva is really planning on leaving the ufc soon, they will still want to have room for this the two Silvas facing off..
    and for an eventual rematch – you never know..

    then i read Hendo being next in line (directly) for A.Silva – which makes sonse achievment wise..
    but from a time-schedule point of view, with Anderson fighting at 101 Hendo would have to wait quite a while..
    So I hope they squeeze in Hendo vs. Wanderlei – would be a classic

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I would like to know if this switch pisses Rich off, because he really wanted to fight Henderson. I see this fight ending badly for him and for Vitor people are asking what does a win get him, it is a win over Franklin and probably a shot at the MW belt next, espacially if it is by ko.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I absolutely do NOT see this fight going to decision. It will be a TKO / KO due to strikes.

  • PlagueAngel says:

    This was a wise decision indeed for the UFC to switch this fight. Get some fresh blood for the fans, not a three round decision. When are they going to make all fights five rounds and title fights 7? You see more and more fighters in better shape and 5/7 rounds would bring less decisions to the sometimes blind judges. I know people use to talk about increased rounds, but where is the topic currently in peoples minds?

  • anferny says:

    There have also been talks about the UFC getting too crowded, so increasing the number of rounds, a good idea for (most) fights, but I guess difficult to manage in terms of air time etc
    More events would be nice anyhow..

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I don’t know about increased rounds. Maybe they could incorporate the old Pride Bushido rule and use a colored card system to encourage action. We all saw the Serra/Hughs fight. Holding up a card to dock 10% of a fighters purse to encourage action would surley curb the problem of lay and pray technique.

    As far as company growth, I would go with more fights on a card, if anything.

    Let’s face it, PPV’s are 50 bucks a pop. If there were 2 a month, could you afford it? I’m sure there are a lot that could, but there are also a lot that couldn’t. 3 hour time blocks, and 8 – 10 fights on the card (televised) should suffice. I really see no other viable option.

  • Jak says:

    The only fight i would like to see be a five rounder is Couture vs. Nog.

    Even if it were to be slow(which i don’t think it will be) they’re 2 legends that if it were to go the full 3 that just wouldn’t be enough.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Serra got robbed in that fight,he completly controlled round 1 got Hughes laying on top of him for the next round, while he attempted three submissions to hughes two body punches, then after hughes took him down in the third he got up and reversed then tore hughes up from the top and lost the fight. That was a BS call.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    As of late there have been a few really weird calls, to say the least. Remember Akiyama vs Belcher?

    One judge scored it 30-27!!?? Are you serious!!!

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I would not have wanted to judge that fight, it was close not 30-27 by any means. Belcher clearly took round 2, the others are debatable. Still a good fight.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    1 was definately Sexyama, 2 was Belcher, and 3 seemed to be belcher to me. There was a lot un unanswered shots from belcher, including a great kick. That’s the way it goes though.

    There has been talk about instant replay in MMA. I hope they don’t do that.

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