The fight will take place at 205lbs, so Vitor Belfort will be moving up in weight to the weight class in which he was fighting the last time he was in the UFC. I suppose the UFC kept this fight at 205 since Franklin will be staying there, and Belfort was already gaining weight in anticipation of fighting Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction 3. This fight will take the place of the initial announcement of Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson II.
I like this fight as a replacement even though I didn't really have any big problems with the Franklin/Henderson II announcement. This is a chance for Belfort to re-invent himself in the UFC and he has some intriguing match ups ahead if he can perform well. I think Belfort can make some noise even if he loses to Franklin in regards to fighting at 185. The majority of the contenders in that weight division can't match Belfort's stand up skills, and he's well versed on the ground as well. So he very well could string a couple of wins together and face Anderson Silva provided he still holds onto the belt. If not, then it'll be a re-match with Dan Henderson more than likely since he has now moved into title contention with his KO of Michael Bisping at UFC 100.
A win over Belfort doesn't really put Franklin any closer to a title shot, but a win is a win in the UFC. I'd imagine that this fight gives him some good exposure against an exciting fighter in Belfort, so that could play a factor in regards to where Franklin goes next if he wins. How do you see this one playing out?
[Note by Kelvin Hunt, 07/31/09 10:16 PM EDT ]via Rich Franklin's Twitter account:
Just found out i will b fighting vitor at a catch weight of 195 as per his request.