Rich Franklin taken off UFC 133 fight card, Vitor Belfort vs Yoshihiro Akiyama promoted to co-main event

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The other shoe has dropped and a suitable replacement for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has not been found.

That means it's been deemed best that Rich Franklin be taken off the UFC 133 fight card altogether. The scheduled clash between Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama, which is still on (crossed fingers), has been promoted to the co-main event.

The opening that leaves on the main card will be filled by the Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman bout that was previously scheduled to air on the Facebook streamed portion of the preliminary card.

The UFC broke this news just a short time ago on Twitter.

Nogueira suffered an apparent shoulder injury that forced him out of action just last night. And while the event is just three weeks away, the hope was a fill-in could be found in time to salvage the co-main event. 

After all, it worked out for the main event.

Luck runs out, though, and that's what happened here. But hey, UFC 135 has just two announced bouts and seven total fights rumored. Franklin and Nogueira headed to Denver, Colorado, perhaps?

As stated, jumping up from the preliminary card to fill the open spot on pay-per-view (PPV) is Ebersole vs. Hallman, an unlikely bout between two aging veterans that has the makings for a good old fashioned scrap.

Fitting, then, that it's about to receive a lot more attention.

This, hopefully, brings to a close weeks of drama surrounding UFC 133: "Evans vs. Ortiz," which will hit the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Scheduled to headline is a rematch over four years in the making, as "Suga" Rashad Evans will attempt to earn himself yet another shot at the 205-pound title when he settles the score with "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz.

For all the latest news and notes on UFC 133 click here.

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