Franklin-Silva Eye UFC 99 Date at 195

By Brian Knapp Mar 3, 2009
Former middleweight champion Rich Franklin will square off with Wanderlei Silva at a 195-pound catchweight in the featured match at UFC 99 “The Comeback” on June 13 at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany. The UFC made the match official at a press conference on Tuesday.

The landmark event will mark the UFC’s debut on mainland Europe. The Las Vegas-based promotion’s previous shows on the continent have been confined to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Franklin (24-4, 1 NC) finds himself on the rebound after he dropped a controversial split decision to two-time Olympian Dan Henderson at UFC 93 in January. The 34-year-old former high school mathematics teacher has lost to only three men -- reigning UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva (twice), unbeaten light heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida and Henderson -- in his stellar career. Franklin made the move back to the light heavyweight division after his brutal technical knockout losses to Silva at UFC 64 and UFC 77 and has split two fights since.

Meanwhile, Wanderlei Silva remains one of the sport’s most-feared competitors. Known for his violent finishes, the 32-year-old Brazilian last appeared at UFC 92 in December when he was knocked out by longtime rival Quinton "Rampage" Jackson -- a man he defeated twice previously. Silva (32-9-1, 1 NC) has dropped four of his last five fights, three of them by knockout. Still, he wields one the most impressive resumes in mixed martial arts, with wins against Henderson, the world-ranked Keith Jardine and Ricardo Arona. He has also finished Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba three times inside the first round.

Other bouts rumored for UFC 99 include a lightweight match pairing Spencer Fisher with the returning Caol Uno, a heavyweight showdown pairing American Kickboxing Academy prospect Cain Velasquez with journeyman Heath Herring and a welterweight fight between Mike Swick and unbeaten American Top Team prospect Ben Saunders.

UFC 99 “The Comeback”
Saturday, June 13
Lanxess Arena
Cologne, Germany

Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
Spencer Fisher vs. Caol Uno
Cain Velasquez vs. Heath Herring
Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders
Mustapha al Turk vs. Todd Duffee
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