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Isolated Franklin scratched from UFC 133

ESPN staff
July 17, 2011 « Fedor could trouble Velasquez and Co - Voronov | Chartbeat test »

Rich Franklin has been officially pulled from the UFC 133 card after the late withdrawal of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

Nogueira had to withdraw on Saturday due to a shoulder problem, leaving the UFC less than three weeks to find an adequate replacement opponent for one of its roster's most skilful fighters.

Franklin, a former middleweight champion, is currently attempting to battle his way into contention at light-heavyweight, although he needs to bounce back after defeat to Forrest Griffin. He isn't an easy opponent to find challengers for, and so it proved as the UFC pulled him from the August 6 card.

Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson, Jon Jones, Tito Ortiz and Mauricio Shogun Rua are all tied to fights in the 205lb division, while Ryan Bader has only just competed and Lyoto Machida is unwilling to take a fight on such short notice.

As a result, Franklin will be rescheduled for a later card, with Vitor Belfort v Yoshihiro Akiyama moving to co-main event. Brian Ebersole and Dennis Hallman are perhaps the biggest winners as their bout moves to the main card.

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