After spending the past three-plus years competing against larger opposition, former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin returns to his natural division.
Franklin has agreed to meet former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder Cung Le on July 7 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, the promotion announced Sunday on its website.
But the second-round TKO victory wasn't enough to convince UFC officials that Franklin should remain at 185 pounds. Franklin (28-6) then began testing his skills against larger fighters, competing at 205 pounds and 195-pound catchweight bouts.
While Franklin fought above the 185-pound limit several times early in his MMA career, he struggled to find a rhythm during his recent stint against larger fighters -- winning just three of six bouts.
Le (7-2) looks to earn his first UFC win after suffering a second-round TKO loss in his debut Nov. 19 to Wanderlei Silva.