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UFC 82: Rich Franklin forced to withdraw due to injury

Rich Franklin (22-3) has been forced to withdraw from his bout with Travis Lutter (9-4) at UFC 82 in Columbus, Ohio due to a torn meniscus in his right knee according to MMAjunkie.

Franklin's camp is reporting that this is the second such injury to Franklin's right knee. The former middleweight champ is scheduled to have corrective surgery sometime in January with a tentative return date of June.

Ohio fans are sure to be disappointed.

Franklin is coming off a devastating loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 77: "Hostile Territory" in front of his hometown crowd this past October. In his only other fight in the Buckeye State, "Ace" thrashed Jason MacDonald via corner stoppage at UFC 68: "Uprising" in March.

No word yet if the injury occurred during training or happened while filming the motion picture "Weapon," where Franklin stars as a genetically engineered super soldier.

This will not be an easy pill to swallow for Travis Lutter, who hasn't competed since nearly pulling off an upset of Anderson Silva at UFC 67: "All or Nothing" back in February. The long layoff for the "The Serial Killer" is due in large part to a chronic neck injury (not his inability to make weight for the title fight with Silva).

In fact, he was supposed to fight Ryan Jensen at UFC 74: "Respect" in August, but had to withdraw after re-aggravating the injury during training.

No word yet if Lutter will be given a new opponent but with this much time remaining before UFC 82 I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a suitable replacement.

In fact I seem to remember a certain middleweight named Evan Tanner being booked for UFC 82 - without an opponent.

Just a suggestion.

To check out the latest UFC 82 rumored fight card click here.

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