In an effort to jazz up a relatively slow MMA news day, the UFC announced on Friday Rich Franklin will face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 133. The August 6th event takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, although a venue has yet to be selected.
Nogueira owns a respectable 19-5 professional record, but is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his decorated career. The light heavyweight dropped a lopsided unanimous decision loss to Ryan Bader at UFC 119 last September, then followed it up last month with another decision defeat to Phil Davis.
Franklin saw his resume slide to 28-6 after losing a unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin at UFC 126. Although Richie has dropped three of his last five contests, the former 185-pound champ remains one of the sport’s most popular figures.
On Thursday, UFC president Dana White announced former middleweight top contender Vitor Belfort will face Yoshihiro Akiyama in the card. While it wasn’t confirmed by the organization, Belfort later tweeted they were headlining the show. Depending upon how the rest of the roster fills out, Franklin vs. Little Nog could very well serve as the night’s co-featured contest.
Here are the athletes expected to participate in the event:
Rafael Natal vs. Riki Fukuda*
Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman
Michael McDonald vs. Nick Pace
Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
Rich Franklin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
* – Not confirmed by UFC