FORMER UFC CHAMPION RICH FRANKLIN STEPS IN TO FACE TUF BRAZIL COACH WANDERLEI SILVA IN FIVE-ROUND BATTLE AT UFC® 147
Las Vegas, NV – The Ultimate Fighting Championship confirmed this week that there will be a new five-round main event at the upcoming UFC 147 event, set to take place in the Mineirinho Arena, in Belo Horizonte, on June 23.
With The Ultimate Fighter Brazil® coach Vitor Belfort forced off the card with an injury, former middleweight champion Rich Franklin will step in to face TUF Brazil coach and UFC legend Wanderlei Silva in the main event of the evening, giving Wanderlei a long-awaited chance to avenge his loss to Franklin at UFC 99, June 13, 2009.
In the first-ever UFC event held in the state of Minas Gerais, Franklin and Wanderlei will square-off in a 190-pound catchweight bout.
“I’m happy to be back, and in a big fight. I was happy it was five rounds. I didn’t ask for it to be three rounds. Fighting five rounds is more about how you pace the fight, not what you do in training.”
“The first fight [at UFC 99] was great, and I think a lot of fans will be expecting another great fight. Wanderlei fought me tooth and claw when we went at it in Germany, and he’ll be even more motivated fighting in front of the Brazilian fans.
“I think Wanderlei is a different fighter than he was when we fought at UFC 99, and I think I am too. But I think every fighter is different fight to fight. How I fight one night is different to how I fight the next time I am in the Octagon. That said, you pretty much know what he’s going to do and you pretty much know what I am going to do in there. I think the first fight showed our styles match up for a great fight. I’m ready for Wanderlei and Brazil.”
Fans will also witness the exciting featherweight and middleweight finals of the first international edition of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil® series. The finalists of each weight division featured on the reality show, which will air its last episode on Sunday, June 17 before the PPV event, will face off on the main card. The winners will be declared The Ultimate Fighters and win lucrative contracts with the UFC. All 12 remaining TUF contestants will also get a taste of the Octagon®, facing each other on the six preliminary bouts of the evening.
The co-main event of the evening will feature heavyweight stand-outs Fabricio Werdum and Mike Russow, both coming off wins in their last fight. Also on the main card, elite featherweight Yuri “Marajó” Alcantara will face-off against Brazilian UFC newcomer Hacran Dias. Known for their fight-finishing skills, the two have nearly 50 combined wins in their professional careers. Topping off the main card, featherweight fighter Felipe “Sertanejo” Arantes seeks his second octagon win against Miltinho Vieira, a veteran of the sport on his UFC debut.
About the Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. UFC programming, including the company’s famed The Ultimate Fighter® series, is distributed on the FOX Network and PPV in the United States and on Rede Globo and the Combate Channel in Brazil. In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 149 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with over two million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.Brazilian fans have access to exclusive content in Portuguese at UFC.com www.br.ufc.com, at facebook.com/UFCBrasil, and on Twitter @ufc_Brasil.