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Rich Franklin Discusses Facing Wanderlei Silva At UFC 147

The UFC confirmed this week that there will be a new five-round main event at UFC 147 on June 23rd from the Mineirinho Arena, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

With The Ultimate Fighter Brazil coach Vitor Belfort forced off the card with a hand injury, former middleweight champion Rich Franklin will step in to face TUF Brazil coach and UFC legend Wanderlei Silva in the main event of the evening. In the first-ever UFC event held in the state of Minas Gerais, Franklin and Wanderlei will square-off in a 190-pound catchweight bout.

“I’m happy to be back, and in a big fight,” Franklin admitted. “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 bout gives Wanderlei a long-awaited chance to avenge his loss to Franklin at UFC 99 in June of 2009.

“The first fight [at UFC 99] was great, and I think a lot of fans will be expecting another great fight,” said Franklin. “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.”

The event will also feature the featherweight and middleweight finals of the first international edition of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil series. The co-main event of the evening will feature heavyweight stand-outs Fabricio Werdum and Mike Russow, both coming off wins in their last fight.

Also on the main card, featherweight Yuri “Marajó” Alcantara will face-off against Brazilian UFC newcomer Hacran Dias. Topping off the main card, featherweight fighter Felipe “Sertanejo” Arantes seeks his second octagon win against Miltinho Vieira, a veteran of the sport on his UFC debut.