MMA Weekly is reporting that the rumored bout between UFC middleweight Alan Belcher and Japanese standout Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 100, is one step closer to being made official as Belcher has signed his bout agreement. This also officially drops Belcher out of his rumored fight with Alessio Sakara at UFC 99:
Alan Belcher has signed a bout agreement to face Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 100 on July 11 in Las Vegas. A source close to the fight confirmed the deal had been completed on Wednesday.
Belcher had previously made a verbal agreement to face Alessio Sakara at UFC 99, but jumped at the opportunity to change opponents.
Akiyama has verbally agreed to the bout, although it’s unclear whether he's signed his paperwork.
"(The UFC) said Alessio Sakara. I said cool. He said cool," relayed Belcher. "But I think it makes better sense for me to fight a couple other people. The UFC signed Akiyama and that seems like a pretty good fight, something that will move me ahead.
"I’m gonna physically be a lot bigger than him, I think. Especially when he gets off all that damn juice. He’s all bloated up."
There's no word if Sakara will get a replacement opponent at UFC 99 (paging Goran Reljic?), but with Belcher-Akiyama nearly finalzed, UFC 100 is looking better and better every day. I can't wait to see if Joe Silva has any more blockbusters up his sleeve for the July event...Marquardt-Maia perhaps?