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UFC 147 Preview — Silva vs. Franklin

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UFC 147 will take place on June 23, 2012. This event has been a bit of a nightmare for the UFC. It was originally set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, but a U.N. conference forced a location change to Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The original main event was supposed to be a long-anticipated rematch between Anderson “Spider” Silva and Chael Sonnen. Sonnen came ridiculously close to defeating Silva before getting caught in a triangle with just seconds left in the match. Sonnen has been talking crazy amounts of trash to hype the rematch, but alas, it was moved to UFC 148 on July 7, 2012.

Here is a comprehensive UFC 147 preview:

Main Event: Silva vs. Franklin

The next fight which fell through was a rematch between Wanderlei “Axe Murderer” Silva and Vitor Belfort. The two coaches were both featured on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, but only die-hard MMA enthusiasts have been following the subtitled show online. In any case, Belfort broke his hand during training, and so Rich “Ace” Franklin has stepped in as a late replacement. The bout will be at a 190-lb. catchweight.

This is actually a rematch of a 2009 fight which Franklin won. It’s actually a far more competitive match for Silva, who likely would have found difficulty contending with Belfort’s heavy hands. Stepping in as a late replacement isn’t easy for anyone, but Franklin definitely has the tools to defeat Belfort, with his 15 KO victories and well-roundedness. On the other hand, Franklin is coming off of a loss to Forrest Griffin and Silva looked amazing against Cung Le, so although oddsmakers are heavily favoring Franklin, the results are anyone’s guess.

Werdum vs. Russow

Fabricio Werdum will be facing Mike Russow in a heavyweight tilt. Besides Werdum’s hometown advantage, he looked great in his most recent fight vs. Roy Nelson at UFC 143. He won a unanimous decision and received Fight of the Night honors, which likely helped him shake off his decision loss to Alistair Overeem during the quarterfinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Russow, however, has been on a tear since he made his UFC debut in 2009. The Death Clutch representative first decisioned Ian McCully, then knocked out Todd Duffee in an exciting match. After that, he scored a TKO victory over Jon Madsen and defeated John-Olav Einemo by decision.

Alcantara vs. Dias

Former Jungle Fight lightweight champ Yuri Alcantara has won three bouts under the Zuffa banner. He holds a record of 27-3, and seems to be a bit of a mismatch against Hacran Dias. Although Dias has a record of 20-1, this will be a step up in competition for sure, and a submission victory may not prove as easy against Alcantara, a BJJ black belt at Nova Uniao.

Arentes vs. Vieira

A preliminary bout between Felipe Arentes and Milton Vieira will take place. Vieira, who invented the anocanda choke, is a very dangerous grappler who will be making his UFC debut. Arantes has gone 1-1 in the UFC, holds a purple belt in BJJ and is a very proficient kickboxer.

TUF Brazil Finalists

Also on the card will be the finals in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, where Godofredo Pepey de Oliveira will face Rony “Jason” Marianno Bezerra, and Daniel Sarafian will fight a yet-to-be-announced opponent.

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