Now this is a meaningful friggin' fight!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight contenders, Alan Belcher and Vitor Belfort, will likely collide on the UFC 153 pay-per-view (PPV) main card, which is expected to emanate from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Oct. 13, 2012.
"The Talent" alluded to the announcement last night via his official Twitter.com account. He then told Tatame.com that it was up to Belfort to accept the fight, which Belfort then just unofficially did recently via his own Twitter.com account, most likely after failing to pick a fight with Chris Weidman earlier today.
With Hector Lombard ruled out of the Anderson Silva sweepstakes thanks to a lackluster split decision loss to Tim Boetsch at UFC 149, UFC President Dana White became suddenly non-committal about the next division contender after promising to reveal "answers" at the post-fight press conference. He suggested that if he "had" to make a fight, Weidman would get the nod, but it was far from a ringing endorsement despite his recent destruction of Mark Munoz.
Indeed, the 185-pound division has never been more ripe with possible contenders, which means that the only way to clear up all the confusion is to have them compete for the opportunity.Belcher is on a four-fight win streak, finishing all of his opponents -- most recently Rousimar Palhares earlier this year -- in impressive fashion. He might have advanced further up the contender ladder faster, however, a career-threatening eye injury kept him on the sidelines for more than one year.
Make no mistake, a victory over the "Phenom" in hostile territory will certainly get him closer to his dream of not only being on a poster (again), but challenging for a world title.
Belfort was supposed to rematch Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 after serving as coach on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil," but a hand injury and surgery to repair it forced his exit. He has reeled off two consecutive wins since losing to Silva at UFC 126 early last year, finishing and undersized Yoshihiro Akiyama and a bloated Anthony Johnson.
He, too, might find himself back in the championship chase -- right alongside Weidman and the winner of the UFC 152 showdown between Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann -- if he can emerge victorious against one of the more game fighters in the sport today.
UFC 153 will also feature a 145-pound showdown between UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo vs Erik Koch in the main event of the evening, while former 205-pound division champion Quinton Jackson will likely compete for the last time in the Octagon against fast-rising Brazilian banger Glover Teixeira.