Friday, Sept. 18, 2009 | 3:30 p.m.
- Vitor Belfort is back, TKOs Rich Franklin in first round
- UFC 103 Slideshow
- Vitor Belfort puts on phenomenal performance in UFC return
- White not impressed with Mayweather’s comeback victory
- Breaking down UFC 103: Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort
- Vitor Belfort, Efrain Escudero miss mark at UFC 103 weigh-ins
- UFC 103: Breakdown and Picks
- Naturally UFC 103 event is larger in Lonestar State
- Fireside chat with Dana White
- Video: The Return of "The Phenom"
- Bonus machine Tyson Griffin not worried about cash award in bout with Hermes Franca
- Frank Trigg eyeing one last title run
- Rich Franklin not thinking about title shots
- Mirko Filipovic back for good
- Video: UFC 103: Prepare for the Unexpected
- Complete UFC 103 coverage
DALLAS — UFC 103 fighters were a little on the heavy side today.
Main event fighter Vitor Belfort weighed in at a quarter pound over the 196-pound weight limit for his headling bout against Rich Franklin at the catchweight of 195 pounds Saturday night at the American Airlines Center.
"The Ultimate Fighter No. 8" winner Efrain Escudero also missed his mark, coming in at 157 pounds -- 2 pounds over the lightweight mark of 155. Much like Belfort he had an hour to get down to 156 and eventually did.
Hermes Franca, the lightweight opponent for Xtreme Couture fighter Tyson Griffin, weighed in at 159 pounds. Apparently earlier in the day the two reached an agreement to fight instead at the catchweight of 159.
While Dallas’ UFC debut will take place at American Airlines, Britney Spears was performing a concert tonight in the venue, thus forcing fight fans to travel to the Dallas Convention Center Arena for the official weigh-in proceedings.
Belfort, who is returning to the UFC for the first time since suffering a split decision loss to Tito Ortiz at UFC 51 in February 2005, tried his best to shed any excess pounds.
After coming in at 197 1/2 on his first try, Belfort ditched his fight shorts but was still over. A big ring on his finger also wasn’t the answer, so Belfort dropped his drawers as UFC President Dana White stood holding a towel.
Even then the smiling Brazilian was a quarter pound over. But moments after the televised weigh-ins ended, Belfort came right back and tipped the scales at 196.
“I’m here to accomplish my dream and I think I had a chance and I’m glad God gave me that chance again,” Belfort told a cheering crowd.
Franklin, who had no trouble making weight right at 195 thanks to his colorful, cartoon-themed underoos, told host Joe Rogan that legendary fighters like Belfort are the kind of tests that motivate him.
“When I sat down and renegotiated my contract, I was talking to Dana about fighting other guys that were legendary in the sport,” said Franklin, whose only losses are to Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, and Dan Henderson.
“Vitor is one of them and that’s what we came up with.”
Frank Trigg, who like Belfort is making a long-awaited return to the UFC received a loud ovation from the crowd, while his opponent, Koscheck, was heavily booed.
Franca upstaged Koscheck for most colorful hairdo, taking off a bright orange camo hat that revealed locks dyed blond, purple and pink.
Welterweights Brian Foster and Rick Story got a little too close in their face-off photos, bumping heads much to the crowd's delight. So too did Rob Emerson and Rafael dos Anjos, who ended up actually touching noses.
Famed Croatian Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic came in 10 pounds lighter than Brazilian striker Junior dos Santos, tipping the scales at 226 pounds.
Vitor Belfort (196.5) vs. Rich Franklin (195)
Junior Dos Santos (236) vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (226)
Paul Daley (170) vs. Martin Kampmann (169.5)
Frank Trigg (170.25) vs. Josh Koscheck (170)
Hermes Franca (159) vs. Tyson Griffin (155.5)
Cole Miller (155) vs. Efrain Escudero (157)
Tomasz Drwal (185) vs. Drew McFedries (185.25)
Steve Lopez (154.5) vs. Jim Miller (154.5)
Rafaello Oliveira (155.25) vs. Nick Lentz (155)
Brian Foster (170.75) vs. Rick Story (170)
Jason Brilz (205.25) vs. Eliot Marshall (204.75)
Igor Pokrajac (203) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (205)
Rob Emerson (155.5) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (155.5)
Andy Samuelson can be reached at email@example.com or 702-948-7837.