Rich Franklin steps into UFC 147 headliner against Wanderlei Silva

Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva II is set.

UFC officials today announced that Franklin (28-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) has replaced injured Vitor Belfort (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and now meets Silva (34-11-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC) in the 190-pound-catchweight headliner of next month's UFC 147 event, which is scheduled for five rounds.

Belfort scratched from the card this past week due to a hand injury.

UFC 147 takes place June 23 at the 25,000-seat indoor arena "Mineirinho" (Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond) in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, and FX is expected to carry the prelims.

Franklin and Silva first fought at UFC 99, where Franklin picked up a unanimous-decision victory via 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 scores. Franklin had been scheduled to fight Cung Le (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at July's UFC 148 event. There's no word on his possible replacement.

Silva and Belfort currently serve as coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil," the first international edition of the UFC's long-running reality series. Their coach-vs.-coach was intended to wrap up the season.

Following a 1-5 skid that concluded with the loss to Franklin, Silva since has won two of three fights. He first topped Michael Bisping via close decision before a knockout loss to Chris Leben at UFC 132. However, the Brazilian legend and former PRIDE great rebounded in November with a second-round TKO of Le at UFC 139. The Le victory earned him a $70,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus.

Franklin, meanwhile, fights for the first time in more than a year. The former UFC middleweight champ, who had recently been competing at light heavyweight, has been sidelined with injuries since a February 2011 loss to Forrest Griffin. Franklin was expected to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira this past August, but a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery forced him to withdraw from the matchup. He's 4-3 in his past seven fights.

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