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UFC officially announces Franklin vs. Silva to headline German debut

The Ultimate Fighting Championship officially announced Tuesday that its debut in Germany has been scheduled for Saturday, June 13.

UFC 99 will take place in Cologne, Germany and will emanate from the Lanxess Arena. UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC President Dana White were present at a Monday press conference in Cologne to officially announce the event.

The event has been subtitled “The Comeback,” to help characterize the stakes involved with the show’s main event. Confirmed as headlining the show is the previously reported 195 pound catchweight bout between former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva and former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin.

“We are coming with a stacked card and a unique main event,” White is quoted as saying in a press release. “Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva is another of those dream fights fans never thought they’d get to see – but we are making it happen in Germany.

“Everyone knows Rich moved up to light heavyweight a couple of fights ago while Wanderlei is planning on fighting at 185lbs from now on, but this fight is too exciting a match not to happen and both these guys deserve a ton of credit for taking this fight at 195 lbs.”

As of now, the UFC has yet to officially announce additional fights for the event. However, published reports indicate that fights featuring Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders, Caol Uno vs. Spencer Fisher, Cain Velasquez vs. Heath Herring, and Todd Duffee vs. Mustapha al Turk are expected as well. Paul Taylor and Stefan Struve could also be added to the card as well, in separate bouts.

Tickets for the UFC 99: The Comeback” go on-sale this Friday. The event will also mark the promotion’s continued expansion into Europe, with recent shows having been promoted in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“Our vision for the UFC has always been global,” Fertitta is quoted. “Following on from our successes in the United Kingdom and Ireland, our first card in mainland Europe is another significant step towards making the UFC’s brand of mixed martial arts the biggest sport in the world.”

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