Rich Franklin Pulled from UFC 133 Fight Card; Belfort vs. Akiyama Promoted

July 17, 2011
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With the light heavyweight division already riddled with injuries, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira’s couldn’t have come at a worse time.

The Brazilian was yanked from UFC 133 on Saturday, and on Sunday the UFC announced that his opponent Rich Franklin would be pulled from the card as well.

No viable options remained to step in and face Franklin on just over two weeks notice, and the former middleweight champion will have to live to fight another day.

In the place of Franklin vs. Nogueira, the middleweight bout between former title contender Vitor Belfort and Yoshihiro Akiyama has been bumped up to the co-main event slot on the card.

Also, the welterweight bout between Dennis Hallman and Brian Ebersole has now been slotted for the main card for UFC 133 to fill the space vacated by Belfort and Akiyama.

UFC 133 will now feature 10 bouts total, with the five main card fights airing on pay-per-view, 2 fights on Spike TV, and the final 3 airing on Facebook.

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