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Rich Franklin, Evan Tanner to Return at UFC 82?

It’s being reported that UFC 82 — which goes down March 2 in Columbus, and will be headlined by a middleweight championship bout between Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson — will also feature the Octagon return of actor/fighter Rich Franklin, who will face off against Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis Lutter. Both men are coming off of losses to Anderson Silva, but unlike Franklin, Lutter actually came close to beating him, creaming the champ with unanswered punches from the mount in the first round of their match at UFC 67 before Silva slipped out and locked in a triangle choke in the second. (Franklin, of course, wasn’t able to make it to the second round in either of his fights against the current champ.) A skilled submission artist, Lutter could potentially find a way to beat Ace, who isn’t looking like the most confident fighter in the world lately, and whose budding movie career may be diverting his focus. The fight would be the first in Franklin’s new six-fight contract with the UFC.

MMA Mania is also reporting that UFC veteran Evan Tanner will also fight at UFC 82 against a yet-unnamed opponent. Tanner briefly held the UFC’s middleweight belt before losing it to Rich Franklin at UFC 53; his last fight was a submission victory over Justin Levens in April 2006. Since then, Tanner has struggled with alcoholism, attempted to create a charity training center for troubled fighters that failed, worked to restore a sailboat that eventually sank, and had some possessions stolen from his Land Cruiser. Here’s hoping his future endeavors run a bit more smoothly…

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noah- February 22, 2008 at 5:16 am
i am ur biggest fan
Big D- January 26, 2008 at 9:01 am
GO ACE!
BIG CHRIS- December 17, 2007 at 4:51 pm
I pick Franklin all the way....and Evan Tanner returning is something we have all been looking forward to....I mean please keep losing fighters like Randy Cotoure, and then sign contracts with Evan Tanner, another great decision by the UFC!!
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