Rich Franklin Vs. Cung Le On Tap For UFC 148 On July 7th

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JUNE 11: UFC fighter Rich Franklin flexes during the weigh-in for UFC 115 at General Motors Place on June 11, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Chuck Liddell will fight Franklin during UFC 115 June 12 in Vancouver. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images)

The UFC's annual Independence Day card is generally one of the biggest cards of the year, and the UFC announced the first official bout for it today. Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will make his return to 185 and take on former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le at UFC 148. UFC.com shared the news along with the Clay Guida vs. Gray Maynard matchup:

UFC 148 on July 7th will feature a middleweight showdown between former champion Rich Franklin and striking standout Cung Le.

Franklin hasn't competed in over a year, when he dropped a decision to Forrest Griffin at UFC 126. He was expected to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 133, but a late injury to Nogueira forced the bout to be scrapped. Shortly after that, Franklin injured his shoulder and underwent surgery in October. This will be his first middleweight bout in almost four years, with the last being a TKO win over Travis Lutter at UFC 83.

Le signed with the UFC last year after an extended break from fighting due to his acting schedule. He was expected to debut against Vitor Belfort at UFC 139, but an injury changed that to a bout with Wanderlei Silva. He lost the bout via TKO in the second round.

The only other bout rumored for the card at this point is the third fight between UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.

SBN coverage of UFC 148

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