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Wanderlei Silva’s UFC 147 Replacement Revealed, and It’s a Familiar Face

(This one is for The Number 23, and the next one is for that God damn penguin movie!) 

Yep, that’s right. None other than former middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin will be the man to fill in for Vitor Belfort against Wanderlei Silva in the main event of UFC 147. The fight will be contested at a catchweight of 190 pounds. Sound familiar? That might be because these two met at UFC 99 back in June of 2009 at a catchweight of just five pounds heavier (a.k.a Rumbleweight, Franklinweight, Moneyweight, or 195 lbs.). The fight was an action packed affair that saw “Ace” emerge victorious by way of unanimous decision.

As you may recall, Franklin was originally expected to take on Cung Le at UFC 148, who has now been left without an opponent. After Vitor was forced to withdraw from his rematch with Silva due to a broken hand, however, everyone from Alan Belcher, who also injured himself in the meantime, to Michael Bisping, who Wanderlei already defeated by UD in his UFC middleweight debut back at UFC 110, were being pegged as potential opponents, even in light of Bisping/Boetsch already being announced.

Though this matchup will more than likely make for an exciting fight (being that their first scrap took home FOTN honors), we may be looking at the possibility of UFC 147 being demoted from a pay-per-view to a free card at this point. And here’s why.

Sign #1: The card, or lack thereof
First, let’s take a look at the card as it stands. Which is to say, barely. The only announced matchups are as follows.

Main Event:
190 lbs.: Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva

Other scheduled bouts:
TUF: Brazil featherweight finals
TUF: Brazil Middleweight finals
Mike Russow vs. Fabricio Werdum
Felipe Arantes vs. Milton Vieira
Yuri Alcantara vs. Hacran Dias

Aside from a pair of fights that will determine the TUF: Brazil winners, we have a couple of fights featuring names that only the hardcore fans will even recognize *cough* Milton Vieira *cough* and a likely co-headliner of Werdum vs. Russow. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Although Werdum looked nothing short of outstanding his last time around, the same can not be said for Russow. Yes, the kid is on a ridiculous 11-fight win streak, including four straight in the UFC, but in terms of drawing power, he is still very low on the heavyweight totem pole. Plus, his previous victories over anyone not named Todd Duffee were boring as shit. And besides, even the finales of American TUF seasons are relegated to free cards. Now that UFC 147 lacks even the drawing power of its original coaches, we see no reason why the UFC would think this card is worthy of a PPV buy.

Sign #2 – Relevance

Look, we love Wandy and Ace. In fact, this match, as with their first, is one of those fights where we don’t want to see either guy lose, unless it’s by way of some insane windmill-style knockout, of course. But let’s be real here, nothing short of a Kurt Russell miracle would have to happen for either of these guys to come anywhere close to the middleweight belt. Even though this fight is at catchweight, 185 is where both men will be calling their home for the time being, and probably until they call it quits.

Anderson Silva gave Franklin a permanent black eye and enough nightmares to make a WW2 vet stir in his sleep in their pair of fights, and Wanderlei only delayed a forced retirement by beating Cung Le last November. To think that either of these guys are the next threat to Anderson is not only ludicrous, it’s downright laughable. Franklin most recently dropped a UD to Forrest Griffin at UFC 126, and considering how FoGriff fared against Anderson, we can use the power of MMA math to determine that Silva might just beat Franklin to death were they to meet again. This is not meant as a knock on either man’s career, but rather an accurate assessment of why no one will be forking over 50 dollars for a card headlined by such a matchup.

Sign #3 – It’s in a foreign country

OK, so this one’s a bit of a stretch, but it seems that even when a card falls apart in the good old US of A, the UFC seems reluctant to admit defeat and just give away a card to the people. On the other hand, can you remember the last time a card that aired in London wasn’t free? Neither can we. As of now, UFC 147 is scheduled to go down at the Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and has already switched venues to make way for that pesky UN. All we’re saying is: mediocre card + foreign country = Fight Night in the making.

Sign #4 – Dana White has yet to make up for UFC 112
demian maia vs anderson silva ufc 112

We haven’t forgotten your promise, DW. Now throw a couple more decent fights on this card and we can all forget the absolute turd that was Silva vs. Maia. Chop-chop.

So who’s stoked enough to shell out their hard earned cash on this one? To those of you who answered that last question with an emphatic “ME!”, can we borrow fifty bucks?

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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linzhancq- June 3, 2012 at 9:22 am
linzhanco- June 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm
BaghdadBob- May 31, 2012 at 7:43 am
rngeorgeh- May 31, 2012 at 6:14 am
This is weaker than the recent free cards! The main event will probably be an exciting, though irrelevant fight. Otherwise, it has no appeal whatsoever.
The12ozCurls- May 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm
Ya, the fight card is pretty much a jar full of leprosy scabs but . . . . if you bump Cung Le up to this PPV and make him fight Alan Belcher OR Paul Harris -- I will pay for it. Just the thought of Belcher getting another "W" after his adversity or Cung Le getting his "walking papers" when he can't even walk gives me a semi-chub. Otherwise I will not PAY for it.
macreadysshack- May 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm
Wait. I think I just made another point for your argument. Okay . . . as much as I liked my second sentence, toss it out.
macreadysshack- May 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm
100% what drano said. As the MMA elite, I think most CP vets would disagree with your entire premise for argument. Do I think the casual fan is going to be on board? No. However, these are the kind of fights you want to invite your MMA Mission to convert the ball loving masses. Nobody here trying to protect their rep - these guys are fighting for their lives. That's worth my $50.
macreadysshack- May 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm
Wait. I think I just made another point for your argument. Okay . . . as much as I liked my second sentence, toss it out.
SonOfSerbia- May 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm
The card isnt even complete yet, this one was poorly planned, Franklin v Wanderlei is a co-main event at best. Werdum vs Russow is a huge step backwards after Werdum beat Big Country. Cung Le is dunzo, unless Frank Shamrock comes out of retirement to fight him Cung doesnt even belong on the main card. I hope the Baldfather has something up his sleeve for this one, because i'm not dropping $50 on this piece of shit
dranokills- May 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm
man it's not the most decorated card, it's not the biggest names, but I love the fighters, and sometimes big names are to worried about how they look to let it all hang out, and these so called nobodys don't give a shit and have nothing to lose. a fight with reckless abandonment actually kinda fires me up so yeah include in that small group that says "ME"!
Irishwolfhound491- May 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm
Damn it all! This now makes two fights that I really, really wanted to see live go two different cards.
FightZen- May 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm
Ace is the true definition on moneyweight. Not that he deserves a title shot or anything, but when's the last fight he had that would even move him in the right direction? Sad... I wanted to see him make a run at 205. Not that he'd have a shot against Bones...