by Adam Martin
Let the trash talk begin.
According to journalist Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com, middleweights Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher will meet at UFC 159, which takes place April 27 in Neward, New Jersey. The bout is expected to serve as the co-main event of the evening, while UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen is the main event.
This should be an excellent fight between two top-10 middleweights who like to hype up their fights with smack talk.
Bisping (23-5) would have got a UFC middleweight title shot against champ Anderson Silva with a win over Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7, but instead he lost yet another big fight, this time getting knocked out with a second-round head kick. The thing about Bisping, though, is that he’s one of the most colourful personalities in the sport and he knows how to talk up a fight, so even though the loss to Belfort set him back somewhat, it’s only a temporary roadblock. Bisping, who is very well rounded, has defeated the likes of Brian Stann, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Chris Leben and Matt Hamill in his career, but that coveted title shot has always alluded him. However, if he gets by Belcher he’ll be right back in the title mix.
Belcher (18-7) was also making a run for the UFC middleweight title until he ran into Yushin Okami at UFC 155. Although Belcher would have broke through into the upper echelon of the division with a win over Okami, he didn’t fight well at all and lost a lopsided unanimous decision. Even with the loss, though, Belcher remains one of the most well-rounded middleweights in the game today, someone who is capable of winning fights both in the standup and on the ground. In his career, he holds notable victories over Rousimar Palhares, Ed Herman, Patrick Cote, Denis Kang, and Jorge Santiago.
Along with Bisping vs. Belcher and Jones vs. Sonnen, UFC 159 also features a lightweight contest between Jim Miller and Pat Healy, a heavyweight tilt between Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo, and a light heavyweight bout between contenders Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes.
Remember, stay tuned to MMAonline.com for any more newly-announced fights, as we never miss any of them.
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