With the news that Vitor Belfort was out of his scheduled main event bout against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147, many wondered who could potentially replace him to face "The Axe Murderer." Gals Guide To MMA took a look at five potential candidates to replace him, including the Bay Area's Josh Koscheck.
As it happens, it won't be any of those. Instead, it will be renowned UFC company man Rich Franklin, who was already returning to middleweight from light heavyweight. The news comes from Inside Fight Sports on Facebook, who says the news is confirmed. As noted, Franklin was scheduled to face Cung Le at UFC 148.
Le trains in and fights out of San Jose California, and boasts a 7-2 record in mixed martial arts. He hasn't even fought outside of San Jose in a professional MMA fight, with all his fights being for Strikeforce or most recently, the UFC. His lone UFC fight was against the aforementioned Silva, who scored a second-round TKO, handing Le his second professional loss.
Franklin vs. Silva actually appears to be a more even matchup, as many felt that Belfort would knock out Silva rather easily, given the former's fast and powerful hands and the latter's weakening chin. But that leaves Le without an opponent, and the question now is who the UFC will get to replace Franklin?
Given the strength of the UFC 148 card already - with Anderson Silva taking on Chael Sonnen for the Middleweight Championship - they might simply move Le to a future event. We'll be on it when it's known.