UFC Announces Main Event for UFC 72

The UFC will return to the UK in June for UFC 72: Victory, which will take place in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The UFC hasn’t finalized the undercard yet, but they’ve set the top of the card in stone: the main event will pit former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin against rising star Martin Kampmann. In addition, popular light-heavyweight Forrest Griffin will square off against Hector Ramirez.

Franklin (21-2) rebounded from a crushing loss to Anderson Silva with a dominant win over Jason MacDonald, but Kampmann (15-2), a former professional kickboxer with excellent submission skills, should give Franklin a tougher challenge.

While many consider this to be a tune-up for Franklin–who’s widely believed to be in line to face the winner of the Anderson Silva/Nate Marquardt fight later this year–Kampmann’s well-rounded style could give “Ace” serious trouble.

Griffin (13-4), the former Ultimate Fighter heavyweight winner, was originally scheduled to square off against Ryoto Machida at this weekend’s UFC 70, but had to pull out of the fight due to a severe staph infection in his knee.

Instead of the undefeated Machida, he’ll have to face Ramirez (6-2-1), a training partner of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Ramirez lost his UFC debut to James Irvin, but both fighters’ proclivity for standing and trading should make this an entertaining fight.

Early rumors have the UFC offering this card, like this weekend’s British card, for free on Spike, but it’s hard to believe that the UFC would pass up another chance for pay-per-view revenue.