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Rich Franklin vs Wanderlei Silva catchweight fight booked for UFC 147

Photo of Wanderlei Silva (left) battling Rich Franklin via Zuffa LLC/Getty Images.
Photo of Wanderlei Silva (left) battling Rich Franklin via Zuffa LLC/Getty Images.

The Vitor Belfort sweepstakes are over.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) officials today announced Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva 2 for the UFC 147 pay-per-view (PPV) main event at the Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on June 23, 2012.

"Ace" fills in for "The Phenom," who broke his hand earlier this month and was forced to withdraw.

Franklin narrowly edged out "The Axe Murderer" in a three round "Fight of the Night" at UFC 99: "The Comeback" nearly three years ago in Germany. Their second go-round will be contested at a catchweight of 190 pounds to account for the short notice match-up.

That leaves the former math teacher's original foe, Cung Le, without an opponent for UFC 148 (for now).

Franklin (28-6) 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.

Silva (34-11-1) 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 have an early prediction on this war of attrition?

For the latest UFC 147 news and notes check out our complete event archive right here. To check out the latest UFC 147: "Franklin vs. Silva 2" fight card and rumors click here.

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