As the Daily News reported in late April, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is returning to Philadelphia with UFC 133 on Aug. 6 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The pay-per-view event was formally announced today by the Las Vegas-based organization.
The main event will feature Rashad Evans (15-1-1, MMA record) against UFC rising power Phil Davis (9-0 MMA record). Davis, a former Penn State wrestler from Harrisburg, is coming off a win over fight legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at the last UFC Fight Night (March 26). Davis was added after light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (13-1 UFC) damaged a ligament in his right hand, forcing cancellation of his first title defense.
In addition, former middleweight champion Rich Franklin (28-6, 1 NC) will face Nogueira (19-5) in a light heavyweight bout, and former UFC world champion Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort (19-9) faces Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-3, 2 NC) at 185.
More matches will be announced as the event gets closer.
"The last time we were in Philly, the fans were incredible so we are excited to head back there with a card that features three former world champions," UFC president Dana White said.
"Phil is undefeated at 9-0 and has never been more motivated for a fight, and he wants to prove that he belongs atop the light heavyweight division. Rashad is on fire. He wants his title back so badly he can taste it, but he knows before he can get his title shot he has to get through Phil. He wants to win and he wants to win impressively. This is a great fight."
Said Evans: "My road back to the title continues in Philadelphia against Phil Davis and I expect this to be one of the best fights of the year. Phil is on the rise in this sport and it's my job to put an end to that. He's a former national champion wrestler and he's been impressive thus far in the UFC, but my experience in big fights gives me the edge. I want another shot at the belt and I've got to beat Phil to earn it."
Said Davis: "I'm definitely glad to be back in Pennsylvania for the biggest fight of my life. It's going to be good to be able to fight in front of all my family and friends. I feel like I can take this fight wherever I want. I can wrestle with Rashad, I can strike with him, and I feel confident wherever this fight goes. Rashad Evans is the most dangerous opponent I've ever faced, but I don't think for a minute that I'm outmatched. I'm going to take care of this fight and do whatever I have to do to beat Rashad."
UFC was last in Philadelphia on Aug. 8, 2009. UFC 101: Declaration offered the sellout crowd at the Center a pair of main events: BJ Penn and Kenny Florian squared off in the lightweight championship, with Penn winning by submission; then, light heavyweight Anderson Silva celebrated a first-round knockout of Forrest Griffin.