Today the UFC confirmed on their website that Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, and Karo Parisyan will all be making their return to the Octagon at UFC 88 in Atlanta, GA on September 6. The card is headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans with the winner likely being very close to a title shot.
Dan Henderson, coming off a loss to Anderson Silva in March, will be stepping back into the cage against one of the UFC’s most highly touted international talents, Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares. Henderson will be looking for his first victory inside the UFC since coming over after the collapse PRIDE. Toquinho recently steamrolled Ivan Salaverry in his UFC debut with a very slick armbar.
Rich Franklin, the former UFC middleweight champion, will be facing off against fellow Cincinnati fighter Matt Hamill in a battle at light heavyweight. Franklin is coming off a victory over Travis Lutter at UFC 83 and will be fighting at light heavyweight for the first time since he fought Ken Shamrock at the first ever Ultimate Fighter Finale. Matt Hamill recently beat Tim Boetsch at UFC Fight Night 13 in April and will be looking to make it two in a row since his loss to Michael Bisping last year.
Karo Parisyan will be looking to prove to the world that he’s still top shelf in the UFC’s most talented division when he takes on one of the best Japanese stars that the UFC has signed in recent months, Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Parisyan is coming off a knockout loss to Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 13, a fight that would have catapulted him into title contention should he have won. Yoshida recently made his UFC debut, throttling Jon Koppenhaver at UFC 84 in the opening moments of round one.
These three fights are an excellent addition to the card and it looks like UFC 88, even without a title fight, is shaping up to be one of the better events all year.