by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Speculation has been running rampant for several weeks over reports that Chuck Liddell would face Rich Franklin at UFC 115 instead of original opponent and opposing coach from the current season of “The Ultimate Fighter” Tito Ortiz.
MMAWeekly.com initially reported the rumored bout on March 13.
The UFC has on Monday confirmed those rumors announcing Liddell will indeed face Franklin on June 12 in Vancouver for the main event of UFC 115.
The story surfaced after Ortiz had suffered injuries during training that would prevent him from fighting in the bout against Liddell in June, and it was former middleweight champion Rich Franklin that would step in to replace him.
The UFC denied the initial reports and stood by the original pairing of Liddell vs. Ortiz, but it looks like with tickets about to go on sale for the event that the cat has been let out of the bag.
Liddell will face Franklin in a light heavyweight main event bout on the card, which will serve as the first UFC fight in the city of Vancouver.
Other fights announced for the card as previously reported by MMAWeekly.com include a heavyweight striker’s dream match between former K-1 fighters Pat Barry and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
Paulo Thiago attempts to continue his assault on the welterweight division when he faces Martin Kampmann, while lightweights and training partners Tyson Griffin and Evan Dunham do battle on the card as well.
Former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit faces hometown fighter Rory MacDonald in the final fight for the televised portion of the pay-per-view.
Heavyweights Ben Rothwell and Gilbert Yvel will battle on the undercard, as well as former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Mac Danzig against Matt Wiman. “Ultimate Fighter Season 9″ winner James Wilks takes on Peter Sobotta, as well as Canadian Claude Patrick against Ricardo Funch. The final fight announced on Monday pits Xtreme Couture fighter Mike Pyle against Jesse Lennox in a welterweight contest.
UFC 115 will take place at General Motors Place in Vancouver on Saturday, June 12.