"We thought that [a win over Akiyama] would give me a shortcut to the top. This is one where I can really show myself to a lot of new fans, and show people that think I’m the top contender that I really am. I’ll throw straight, crisp, technical strikes, and he’s kind of wide. I’m getting offensive with my jiu-jitsu. The Kang fight was probably the first time that I felt comfortable in attacking and not trying to stand up, so it gave me a lot of confidence to know where I’m at on the ground. Every time I’m getting more aggressive and letting it go, so I’m going to try to finish him and be really mean and aggressive. I’m definitely not going down as someone’s stepping stone."
Alan Belcher will look for his third consecutive win inside the Octagon when he takes on Japanese import Yoshihiro Akiyama in a middleweight tilt at UFC 100 on July 11. "The Talent" is coming off an impressive come-from-behind victory over Denis Kang at UFC 93 last January and is now 5-3 overall under the Zuffa banner. Does a dominating win over "Sexyama" put Belcher against a top middleweight contender? Or will the Duke Roufus-trained striker need to create a more consistent body of work? None of that really matters unless he can deport the 12-1 master Judoka waiting for him at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Will he or won’t he?