Update: Belfort-Franklin On Weight for UFC 103

By Sherdog.com Staff Sep 18, 2009
With a only quarter-pound standing between him and Rich Franklin, Vitor Belfort looks to make his awaited Octagon return Saturday in a 195-pound catch-weight bout at UFC 103 “Franklin vs. Belfort” at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Franklin, who won another 195-pound contest against Wanderlei Silva by unanimous decision at UFC 99 last June, weighed in at 195 pounds on the dot at the official weigh-in Friday. The former UFC middleweight champion has won three of last four bouts since his unsuccessful rematch against current 185-pound king Anderson Silva at UFC 2007 in October 2007.

Belfort, a former UFC light heavyweight champion himself, weighed in at 197.5 pounds on his first attempt, then removed his shorts and socks and weighed in at 196.5 on his second go. Belfort was 196.25 pounds after shedding his clothes for a third attempt. On his final trip to the scale, Belfort qualified for the bout with a weight of 196.

Franklin, who has floated between the 185- and 205-pound divisions since 2007, called facing Belfort a “great opportunity.”

“When I sat down and renegotiated my contract, I was talking to (UFC President) Dana (White) about fighting other guys that were legendary in the sport,” said Franklin. “Vitor is one of them and that’s what we came up with.”

The bout marks the Belfort’s return engagement to the Octagon since his split decision loss to Tito Ortiz at UFC 51 in February 2005.

Outside the UFC, the explosive Brazilian, known for his fast and powerful hands, has ignited interest with two impressive knockouts over Matt Lindland and Terry Martin, both for the now scrapped Affliction promotion. Belfort has voiced his interest in fighting in the UFC middleweight division next, and could be primed as an excellent opponent for Silva with a standout performance on Saturday.

“I’m here to accomplish my dream and I think I had a chance and I’m glad God gave me that chance again,” said Belfort.

Elsewhere, Croatian Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic weighed in at 226 pounds for his heavyweight contest with fellow striker Junior dos Santos, who weighed in at 236 pounds.

A former Pride Fighting Championships star, Filipovic notched a first-round technical knockout against Mostapha Al Turk at UFC 99 last June, which brought him to an underwhelming 2-2 record in the Octagon.

Dos Santos remains unscathed in the UFC, with a pair of first-round T(KO) victories against Stefan Struve and Fabricio Werdum.

In two featured welterweight bouts, Xtreme Couture’s Martin Kampmann tipped the scale at 169.5 pounds, while Brit debutante Paul Daley, replacing an injured Mike Swick, came in at 170 pounds.

Returnee Frank Trigg was 170.25 pounds, while opponent Josh Koscheck was 170 pounds.

“The Ultimate Fighter 8” winner Efrain Escudero weighed in at 157 pounds for his lightweight contest with Cole Miller, who was 155 pounds. Escudero hit 156 on his second try to put the stamp on tomorrow's lightweight tilt.

UFC 103 Weigh-in Results:
Rich Franklin (195) vs. Vitor Belfort (196)*
Junior dos Santos (236) vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (226)
Martin Kampmann (169.5) vs. Paul Daley (170)
Josh Koscheck (170) vs. Frank Trigg (170.25)
Efrain Escudero (156) *** vs. Cole Miller (155)
Tyson Griffin (155.5) vs. Hermes Franca (159)**
Vladimir Matyushenko (205) vs. Igor Pokrajac (203)
Nik Lentz (155) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (155.25)
Ricky Story (170) vs. Brian Foster (170.75)
Jim Miller (154.5) vs. Steve Lopez (154.5)
Drew McFedries (185.25) vs. Tomasz Drwal (185)
Eliot Marshall (204.75) vs. Jason Brilz (205.25)
Rafael dos Anjos (155.5) vs. Robert Emerson (155.5)

* Belfort made weight on his fourth attempt.
** The Franca-Griffin bout will be held at a catch-weight of 159 pounds.
*** Escudero hit 156 pounds on his second try.
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