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Rich Franklin to fight Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147

ESPN staff
May 1, 2012 « Villa set their sights on Lambert | Chartbeat test »
Rich Franklin beat Wanderlei Silva in their first fight © Getty Images
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Wanderlei Silva will face former middleweight champion Rich Franklin in a rematch at UFC 147, the promotion announced on Wednesday.

The 190lb catchweight contest will be held on June 23 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Silva was originally scheduled to meet Vitor Belfort at 185lbs in the card's headliner, but a hand injury forced Belfort out of the bout.

Silva and Belfort are coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. The two met on October 16, 1998, in a light-heavyweight fight. Silva was knocked out by Belfort in the first round.

A former Pride 205lb champion, Silva has not fought in that weight class since December 27, 2008, when he suffered a first-round knockout loss to Rampage Jackson.

Silva is 2-1 as a middleweight. He meets Franklin for the second time in a catchweight fight. They did battle in a 195lb catchweight bout on June 13, 2009, at UFC 99. Franklin beat Silva by unanimous decision in a bout that earned Fight of the Night honours.

A former UFC middleweight title holder, Franklin has not fought at the 185lb limit since his second-round TKO of Travis Lutter in April 2008.

The fight with Silva will be Franklin's third catchweight bout since leaving the middleweight division. His most recent catchweight fights were held at 195 pounds. Franklin has a professional mixed martial arts record of 28-6 with one no-contest.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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