The main event is up next, as Rich "Ace" Franklin fights returning UFC veteran Vitor Belfort at a catchweight of 195 pounds. Interesting to note that Belfort -- who had been fighting at 185 with seemingly little difficulty -- actually needed more than one try to make 195 for this fight.
Round 1: Belfort with a fast leg kick. Franklin with a more tentative leg kick of his own. Franklin whiffs on a looping right hand and almost eats a straight left. These guys are showing lots of caution and respect for their opponent's standup. Belfort throws a teep kick to the body that misses. Franklin with a teep. Franklin misses a pair of looping fists and Belfort counters with a jab. Franklin throws again and gets countered with a right jab and a left hook that stuns him. Franklin goes down to his knees and Belfort keeps pounding away on a face-down Franklin until the referee waves it off. Franklin wasn't knocked out completely, but he was definitely no longer defending himself. Unless putting your face flat on the canvas is considered smart defense.
Winner: Vitor Belfort defeats Rich Franklin via knockout at 3:02 of Round 1.
Belfort was very gracious after the win, thanking God, his family, and Franklin for taking the fight. Franklin was still somewhat out of it during the postfight interview with Rogan, and he said he didn't exactly know what shot dazed him first but he expected to start piecing it together once he regained his wits.
This is a major validation for Belfort, who has been on an impressive comeback outside of the UFC. Due to his history of inconsistent performances, there were going to be questions about whether his comeback would translate to the big leagues. But a KO over a top fighter like Franklin will go a long way toward convincing his detractors that Belfort still has lots of gas left in his tank. He seems more level-headed and at peace these days, and that is showing up in his performances in the cage.
When asked the inevitable question about whether he'd like to fight Anderson Silva for the middleweight title, Belfort said Silva was a friend of his, but that if Dana White and the UFC wanted him to fight Silva, he would fight anyone.