Franklin steps in for Belfort, will face Silva at UFC 147

Published on June 1 at 3:50 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

When Vitor Belfort broke his hand in training late last week, The Ultimate Fighting Championship was left in a jam without an opponent for Wanderlei Silva in the main event for UFC 147 in Brazil.

That changed on Wednesday when Rich Franklin agreed to face Silva at a catchweight of 190 pounds.

These fighters waged a slugfest at UFC 99 in Germany on June 13 of 2009. That bout, fought at a 195-pound catchweight, won Fight of the Night honors with Franklin capturing a unanimous-decision victory.

Franklin had been scheduled to make his return to the 185-pound loop to face former Strikeforce middleweight champ Cung Le at UFC 148 on July 7 in Vegas. Now his fight date moves up to June 23. opened Silva as a minus-130 favorite, while Franklin is available for even money.

As for Le, he will now face Patrick Cote.

In other UFC news that came out Wednesday night, it turns out that light heavyweight champ Jon ‘Bones’ Jones had company when he totaled his Bentley and got a DUI at 5:00 a.m. this past Saturday morning.

His companions in the crash were a pair of 25-year-old females, Michelle L. Vojtisek and Cara Johnson, both of whom sustained cuts and bruises and were transported to the hospital. Jones is engaged to Jessie Moses, the mother of his two children.

Jones is set to return to the Octagon to defend his 205-pound belt against Dan Henderson at UFC 151.

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