Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin is dropping back to middleweight to face former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le at UFC 148. In addition, UFC lightweight contenders Gray Maynard and Clay Guida will meet in a five-round main event at UFC on FX 3, the UFC announced Sunday.
UFC 148 will take place July 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. An unnamed UFC on FX event was previously announced to being held in Atlantic City, N.J., but no venue has been named as of this time.
Franklin, 37, last fought at UFC 126 in February of last year, losing a decision to former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin. The Ohio native was originally scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 133 in August of 2011, but was forced to withdraw due to a torn labrum.
Franklin's return against Le marks his first fight at middleweight since defeating Travis Lutter at UFC 83 in April of 2008. However, the former middleweight champion fought two catchweight bouts of 195 pounds in 2009 against Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort.
Le, 39, is still looking for his first UFC win in what will be his second fight inside the Octagon. The former Strikeforce champion faced Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139, losing in the third round by TKO due to strikes.
Both Maynard, 32, and Guida, 30, enter their fight having most recently suffered losses. Maynard returns to action after losing to now former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 136 in October of 2011. The former Michigan State wrestler also left his longtime camp Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nevada for Nova Uniao under the direction of Andre Pedernerias.
The bout between Maynard and Guida will serve as the main event for the UFC on FX and is scheduled for five, five-minute rounds.