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Rich Franklin scratched from UFC card

7/17/2011

Rich Franklin has been scratched from the UFC 133 card in August, after the promotion failed to find a replacement for the injured Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

UFC officials announced the news Sunday.

The Aug. 6 event has been plagued with injuries, particularly to 205-pound fighters. Phil Davis was forced out of a headlining fight against Rashad Evans due to a knee injury. Former champion Tito Ortiz stepped up to take his place on short notice.

Not long after that shuffle, another light heavyweight went down with injury in Vladimir Matyushenko. The UFC quickly filled that vacancy with Matt Hamill, who will face Alexander Gustafsson.

But the injury to Nogueira, which was announced Saturday, finally left the promotion with no option but to pull Franklin from the card. A middleweight bout featuring Vitor Belfort and Yoshihiro Akiyama was promoted to the co-main event.

A preliminary welterweight fight between Brian Ebersole and Dennis Hallman was also moved up to round out the main card.

Brett Okamoto covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.