Ohio-native and former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin will take on The Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis Lutter at UFC 82 in Columbus, Ohio. The bout was first reported by MMA Junkie earlier this month.
Franklin (22-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) will be looking to rebound in the main card fight following another disappointing loss to current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Prior to his first meeting with Silva in October of last year Franklin’s career had been on a roll: he had lost just a single bout and was the champion of the top MMA promotion in the world. That came to a screeching halt at UFC 64 when he was knocked out by Silva less than 3-minutes into the first of five scheduled rounds. Franklin recovered to win fights against Jason MacDonald and Yushin Okami to earn another bout with “The Spider”. Though his October matchup with Silva at UFC 77 lasted twice as long as their first meeting Franklin was again defeated. He will now look to rebound yet again with a win over the middleweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter 4.
Lutter (12-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has had a mixed career in the UFC. Prior to appearing on the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter Lutter had just a lone UFC win over Marvin Eastman as well as two octagon losses to Matt Lindland and Trevor Prangley. After making his way to the finals of the season Lutter submitted Patrick Cote to become the season four champion. He was immediately matched up against Anderson Silva for a February showdown but was unable to make weight for the match. Converted to a three round, non-title matchup Lutter put in a solid performance against the dominant champion. Despite taking Silva farther into the fight than anyone else had in the UFC he was submitted in the second round.