MMAmania.com has confirmed a report from FightHype.com that middleweights Ricardo Almeida (10-3) and Kendall Grove (9-5) have verbally agreed to collide at UFC 101, which is tentatively scheduled to take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on August 8.
Since returning to the sport of mixed martial arts after a self-imposed three-year layoff to open the Ricardo Almeida Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Hamilton, N.J., "Cachorrao" has posted a 2-1 record, which includes wins over previously unbeaten Rob Yundt at UFC 81 and most recently over Matt Horwich at UFC Fight Night 18.
The lone loss came via split decision to the hard-hitting Patrick Cote at UFC 86 — a fight that earned "The Predator" a title shot against middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.
Had that UFC 86 fight gone the other way, it’s easy to speculate about what might have been. Could we have seen an Almeida vs. Silva title fight? Perhaps we still will. Or perhaps we’ll see Almeida get his long-awaited title shot against welterweight sensation GSP.
Almeida recently confirmed to MMAmania.com that he is indeed looking to drop to 170 pounds … just not right away.
For now, he faces another stiff test at 185-pounds in season three middleweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Kendall Grove.
"Da Spyder" returned to action after a nine-month layoff to cremate Jason Day at UFC 96, which took place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 7.
It was Grove's first fight since his hard fought victory over former 185-pound champion Evan Tanner at TUF 7 Finale via unanimous decision back in June 2008. It was a critical win — the Hawaiian was jeopardy of losing his third straight match.
UFC 101 will likely feature a main event between lightweight champion BJ Penn against number one contender Kenny Florian, as well as a 205-pound showdown between former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin and the previously unbeaten Thiago Silva in the co-featured fight of the night.
For more on UFC 101, including rumored bouts and all other event-related news, click here.