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UFC 81: Alan Belcher vs. Ricardo Almeida

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alan belcher vs ricardo almedia ufc 81
Alan Belcher (11-3) and Ricardo Almeida (8-2) will lock horns in a middleweight bout at UFC 81 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 2, according to MMAWeekly.com.

Belcher is on a two-fight win streak, taking out Kalib Starnes at UFC 77: "Hostile Territory" last month via technical knockout (grizzly cut.) Prior to that he choked out Sean Salmon at UFC 71: "Liddell vs. Jackson" in just 23 seconds with a guillotine in a 205-pound bout that he took on short notice.

He seems to have turned the corner in a major way since getting smashed by Kendall Grove at UFC 69: "Shootout" this past April.

Almeida is an animal on the ground thanks to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu training of Renzo Gracie. He competed last in the Octagon in 2002 and is making a return to mixed martial arts action after taking more than three years off from professional competition.

Back in his heyday "Cachorrao" went up against some of the best in the sport: Ryo Chonan (win), Nathan Marquardt (win) and Kazuo Masaki (win), among others.

Should be a solid fight with a lot on the line for both fighters: Belcher wants to get his name near the top of the 185-pound contender list and Almeida needs to prove he's still got what it takes to compete at the highest level.

For the latest rumored UFC 81 fight card click here.