Answers are finally starting to emerge over who will face who next in the Upper reaches of the UFC’s middleweight division, with Vitor Belfort now set to fight Alan Belcher at UFC 153 in Rio, Brazil on October 13th.
Belfort had taken to twitter yesterday to attempt to drum up interest in a fight with Chris Weidman, but late last night he confirmed to fans in his native Portuguese that Dana White wanted him to fight Belcher instead.
The Brazilian star is currently trying to work his way back to the top of the division in order to seek revenge against long-time champion Anderson Silva who KO’d him with a front kick to the face in February of last year.
Since then he’s knocked out Yoshihiro Akiyama and submitted Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, but he needs at least one or two more wins in order to make it back to the top of the 185lb ladder and stopping Belcher would certainly help his chances.
Belcher is currently on a four-fight winning streak at 185lbs, initially taking out the likes of Wilson Gouveia, Patrick Cote and Jason MacDonald inside the distance, before really turning up the heat with a first round TKO win over one of the division’s most feared fighters Rousimar Palhares.
He’s still just on the fringes of the title picture though, so a win over another high profile star like Belfort could be what he needs to convince the UFC that he’s the man to take on Silva.
Title implications aside it’s a good bit of match-making from the UFC as these two proven finishers are all-but guaranteed to put on an exciting fight in Rio.
There’s a good chance this bout will take the co-main event slot at UFC 153 on a fight card that’s shaping up very nicely indeed with a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Erik Koch already set in the headline slot while Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson’s last UFC fight with Glover Teixeira is also on tap.