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UFC 103


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Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson II headlines UFC 103, "Cro Cop" vs. Junior Dos Santos set

In desperate need of a main event for the organization's first event in Dallas, the Ultimate Fighting Championship today announced a UFC 103 headliner that we've seen once before: Rich Franklin (25-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) vs. Dan Henderson (25-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

The two fighters first met at UFC 93 in January with Henderson picking up a somewhat controversial split-decision win.

UFC 103 takes place Sept. 19 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and marks the UFC's first trip to Texas since UFC 69 in Houston more than two years ago.

The UFC did not clarify whether the fighters will meet at light heavyweight or middleweight (or even a catch-weight). Franklin most recently competed at 195 pounds, and Henderson recently fought at 185. The bout, though, is unlikely to take place at 185.

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was the first to report earlier this month that UFC officials wanted Franklin in a main-event slot at UFC 103. As we reported last week, the former UFC middleweight champion is in Las Vegas to negotiate a new deal directly with UFC president Dana White. "Ace" currently has just one fight remaining on his current deal and needs a new contract in place before his next fight.

With a deal apparently likely, the 34-year-old is now slotted to return in September in a rematch he's wanted ever since the initial loss.

Franklin most recently headlined UFC 99, where he defeated Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision (at a catch-weight of 195 pounds). Franklin is now 2-1 since leaving the middleweight division. The lone loss came to Henderson, and Franklin immediately said he wanted a rematch after the loss.

In the original meeting, Henderson won the split decision via scores of 29-28, 29-28 and a surprising 27-30 score that went to Franklin. Henderson looked to have clearly won the first round, and Franklin (despite suffering a deep and accidental eye poke late in the round) appeared to clearly win the third. The second round has been the most debated, though two of the judges ultimately went with Henderson.

Henderson enters UFC 103 off a major knockout victory over rival Michael Bisping at UFC 100. It was his third consecutive victory in the UFC, which also included a September 2008 unanimous-decision win over Rousimar Palhares.

Henderson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio he wants and thinks he deserves a rematch with current middleweight champ Anderson Silva, whom he lost to in March 2008. However, Silva is currently slotted to fight Forrest Griffin in a non-title fight next month at UFC 101, so it's still possible Henderson could get the next title shot if he earns a victory over Franklin.

The UFC also today officially announced a long rumored bout between Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (25-6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Junior Dos Santos (8-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC). MMAjunkie.com first reported the bout as signed earlier this month after Filipovic's reported deal with DREAM never came to fruition.

The latest UFC 103 card now includes:

* Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin

* Junior Dos Santos vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic

* Martin Kampmann vs. Mike Swick

* Josh Koscheck vs. Frank Trigg

* Hermes Franca vs. Tyson Griffin

* Sean Sherk vs. Gleison Tibau*

* Efrain Escudero vs. Cole Miller

* Tomasz Drwal vs. Drew McFedries*

* Rafael dos Anjos vs. Matt Wiman*

[mma junkie]

cro cop vs dos santos is going to be interesting

Edited by Rappy
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Wow, Frank Trigg is back.

I wondered when he would be back, he's been on TNA and I thought maybe Spike TV connection he would return sometime.

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Yeah, true.

As for the main events, I think Franklin and Dos Santos will take it.

I need to see Henderson get knocked out man. I was not happy when Bisping got dropped. :no:

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I was quite shocked to see Frank Trigg on the card too.

The last fight between Franklin and Henderson was way too close for my liking and I didn't agree with the result. Personally I think Rich just edged it, also considering he got the poke in the eye!

It'll be interesting to see what reaction CroCop gets when he returns. Also, this will be only his 2nd fight in the USA, so it'll be interesting to see what the UFC pay him once the payouts are revealed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dan Henderson will no longer fight Rich Franklin at UFC 103 and will instead get the first shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva's title at an event to be determined.

During a UFC media conference call today, UFC president Dana White said he pulled Henderson from a previously announced rematch with Rich Franklin at the upcoming UFC 103 event because of the poor reaction it got from fans.

Franklin instead will fight new signee Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC 103, which takes place Sept. 19 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Belfort, who was slated to fight middleweight Jorge Santiago before the recent cancellation of the Aug. 1 "Affliction: Trilogy" event, will move to light heavyweight for the bout.

Henderson, who scored a vicious knockout of Michael Bisping at UFC 100, will now await the result of next weekend's fight between Silva and Forrest Griffin. The non-title co-headlines UFC 101, which takes place Aug. 8 in Philadelphia.

So when will Henderson get his next title shot?

"It depends on what happens next week," White said. "If [silva] doesn't get busted or have injuries, it could be very soon."

Henderson (25-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) first fought Silva (24-4 MMA, 9-0 UFC) in March 2008 at UFC 82. And though he became the first fighter to win a round against "The Spider" in the UFC, Henderson ultimately suffered a submission defeat in the following round.

Henderson has won three consecutive fights since the loss and got the added exposure of coaching opposite Bisping on the recent ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter."

Henderson's guaranteed title shot, of course, means more waiting for undefeated contender Demian Maia (10-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and former Silva challenger Nate Marquardt (28-8-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), who meet at UFC 102 in late August. The winner could still get a title shot ? they're "in the mix," White said ? but with Silva booked to fight Griffin and now Henderson, the Marquardt-Maia winner is unlikely to get a title shot until early 2010 at the absolute soonest.

[mma junkie]

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First the opponent, now the weight class?

Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin's (25-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) training plans continue to change, and a recently announced UFC 103 main-event bout with Vitor Belfort (16-8 MMA, 7-4 UFC) will now take place at a catchweight of 195 pounds instead of the originally announced light heavyweight class.

"Just found out I will be fighting Vitor at a catchweight of 195 (pounds) as per his request," Franklin today posted on his Twitter account.

The catchweight affair will serve as the main event of UFC 103, a pay-per-view card that takes place on Sept. 19 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Franklin was originally expected to face Dan Henderson (25-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) on the card, but UFC president Dana White today announced the organization had changed plans based on a largely negative reaction to the original main event.

Prior to the recent cancellation of "Affliction: Trilogy," Belfort had been preparing for a middleweight contest with Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago. Prior to the collapse of Affliction and his subsequent signing with the UFC, Belfort had turned down a bout with Gegard Mousasi at 205 pounds. That fact made today's announcement of a light-heavyweight bout between Belfort and Franklin a bit perplexing.

The bout will be Franklin's second-straight contest at 195 pounds. "Ace" defeated Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision at June's UFC 99. Franklin has insisted his future lies at light heavyweight following two defeats at the hands of the current middleweight champ, Anderson Silva. However, Franklin has been open to his employers requests of catchweight contests.

Belfort will be fighting in the UFC for the first time since a split-decision loss to Tito Ortiz at UFC 51 in February 2005. Belfort has compiled a 6-3 record since that time, with the losses coming to Henderson and Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (twice).

[mma junkie]

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  • 1 month later...

Nice. Will have something to watch tomorrow since the Giants do not play until the night game. Sweet.

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Lackluster UFC 103 loss for "Cro Cop" could prove Filipovic's last in organization

DALLAS ? While Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic's (25-7-2 MMA, 2-3 UFC) career-long reputation in combat sports as a feared striker will likely always be remembered, the Croatian undoubtedly wishes his time in the UFC be quickly forgotten.

Now after another lackluster performance in the octagon in the co-feature of Saturday night's UFC 103 event, it appears Filipovic's troubled UFC run may now be coming to an end.

"I'm not saying that I've ever been at the level of a Mirko 'Cro Cop' or any of these guys, but I used to fight," UFC president Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "You get to a certain age where you remember what you used to be able to do, and you can see all the openings. You just can't pull the trigger. I think that's where he's at."

After clearly losing the first two rounds of his contest with Brazilian prospect Junior Dos Santos (9-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Filipovic verbally submitted in the final frame. White said Filipovic's deteriorating skills undoubtedly contributed to the one-sided result, but he also praised Dos Santos for another solid performance in the cage.

"Junior Dos Santos is a young, hungry, explosive, nasty heavyweight, and Mirko 'Cro Cop' went three hard rounds with him," White said. "Listen, we all get older. I could see it.

"It happens to the best of us. It takes nothing away from who he is or what he's accomplished. We just all get old."

Just 35 years old, Filipovic certainly doesn't qualify as one of the oldest fighters in the promotion. But at just 3-3 in his past six contests, Filipovic's recent wins have come against opponents with a combined career record of 14-12.

Hardly top-level stuff, and White admitted Filipovic may soon be forced to finish his fighting days against sub-par competition in Japan rather than fighting the world's best heavyweights in the UFC.

"I don't know; I've got to talk to him," White said. "I'm pretty sure that he would say that to me right now, anyway. Mirko and I have always had a pretty good relationship. We'll see what happens."

As for Dos Santos, who is now 3-0 in the UFC, White says the win certainly vaults him to the top of the division.

"Dos Santos is no joke," White said. "He hits hard, and he's been knocking people out.

"Tonight was a big night for him that definitely put him on the map now. He's in the mix."

[MMA Junkie]

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Boring event. UFC 103: Early stoppage

at least 104 with Machida will be interesting

Yeah I didn't take much on this PPV at all

104 on the other hand looks amazing!

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R.I.P Crocrop

yep.

I"m sure i'll get hate for this, but watching Cropcop deteriorate so quickly makes me wonder how well Fedor would actually do inside the octagon. I like Fedor, i'm well aware of his accolades but I'm one of the guys who thinks he is a little overrated. Yes he's talented, yes he's never really been beaten, I understand all this, but IMO he hasn't truly been challenged. IMO he was losing the Arlovski fight until paper jaw got KO'd. I totally buy into the possibility that Fedor is nervous about fighting people in the UFC and that's why he chose strikeforce (aside from the M1 BS).

Regarding the UFC 103 event, i thought it was decent tbh. The prelim fights were really good, as was most of the main card aside from the Mirko fight. I love Franklin but it was sooo nice to see Vitor back doing his thing, i think he might actually give Silva a tough fight. Koscheck has also been tearing up his division, he's a strong boy.

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Yea, I somewhat agree. Maybe it was coincidence but Fedor seemed to play possum, made it appear Andre was winning, so Andre pushed the action a bit and tried to bite off too much and went in with that flying knee and KAPOW, one clean shot and he was asleep. Or maybe Fedor got lucky. Bottom line Fedor knocked him out. Moral of the story, you have 5 rounds, spend that time trying to figure out your opponent, not try to knock him out as soon as you possibly can. Andre would have been the guy known as the first guy to defeat Fedor, now just another stat.

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