UFC 148: Rich Franklin vs Cung Le booked for July 7 in Las Vegas

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JUNE 11: UFC fighter Rich Franklin flexes during the weigh-in for UFC 115 at General Motors Place on June 11, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Chuck Liddell will fight Franklin during UFC 115 June 12 in Vancouver. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images)

Fourth of July weekend fireworks, anyone?

Two standout middleweight strikers have been booked to sling leather at UFC 148 on July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Rich Franklin returns from injury to take on former Strikeforce champion Cung Le.

The promotion brought word of the pending contest a short time ago.

Franklin has been on the sidelines for more than a year, having last competed at UFC 126 all the way back in Feb. 2011, a unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin. He was booked to battle Brazilian bomber Antonio Rogerio Nogueira last August but when that bout was scrapped, he underwent shoulder surgery and has been on the mend ever since.

His first fight back won't be easy but it's a fine bit of matchmaking.

Cung Le made the move over from Strikeforce to the UFC last November in a 185-pound war against "The Axe Murderer" Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139. He did quite well, too, until succumbing to the Brazilian's pressure, eventually losing by way of technical knockout.

Oh and don't forget that nasty broken nose "Wandy" gave him.

He's healthy and raring to get back inside the Octagon, though, and the promotion has granted him his wish. The match-up is preferable, too, considering the style clash. Get ready for some flashy kicks, folks.

Franklin vs. Le becomes just the second bout scheduled for UFC 148, the promotion's annual Fourth of July weekend extravaganza. The event, which will coincide with the next Fan Expo, is set to be headlined by UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz defending his strap against Urijah Faber following the conclusion of their coaching gigs on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15.

As usual, stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more updates to this still-developing fight card. In the meantime, stay up to date on all things UFC 148 by clicking here.

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