Guess who's coming to dinner?
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion, Rich Franklin, will head into hostile territory to grant Wanderlei Silva a rematch from their UFC 99 fight in Germany, one that saw "The Axe Murderer" lose a very close unanimous decision after three rounds of slam-bang action.
This time, it's five.
That's A-OK with "Ace," who replaces the injured Vitor Belfort at a catchweight of 190 pounds for the UFC 147 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which emanates live from the Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on June 23, 2012.
From today's release:
"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."
"Ace" made the decision to come back to middleweight -- a division he once ruled as champion -- after floundering in the light heavyweight ranks with mixed results. Wandy was also sinking up the joint at 205 pounds, but has been able to run up a 2-1 record since slimming down and dropping a weight class.
Anyone think we get a finish the second time around?