Coming up on December 29, UFC Middleweight mainstay Alan Belcher will be getting his first shot at a top 10 talent. At UFC 155 he'll get a rematch at former contender Yushin Okami who beat him by unanimous decision back in 2006. Since then, Belcher has gone 9-3 and is on a 4 fight win streak. However, he's been plagued by injuries and that streak started in 2009.
Now that he's finally healthy, Belcher is ready to get back into Dana White's proverbial mix. Bleacher Report's Duane Finley caught up with Alan to get his thoughts going into the fight:
He's good at what he does but at the same time, it's very easy to figure out what he's going to do. He's very predictable. I have a lot of options with the things I can do. I have a lot of different styles and strategies I use. I have a lot of different ways to beat him where for him to win, he has to keep pressuring me and has to take me down. That's pretty much it.
After I beat Yushin Okami, I'm not going to be mad if the UFC doesn't have me fighting Anderson Silva in February or March. I want to make it realistic. I want to work for it. I want to legitimately beat everyone in the division with no questions asked. That means if I have to beat Lombard, Bisping, Belfort, Weidman, all of them in 2013, that's what I'll do.
In his last fight, Belcher got a TKO over leg lock specialist Rousimar Palhares. Toquinho didn't make it easy for him though, forcing Alan to defend several submission attempts in the 4 minute fight. Belcher persevered, ignoring Joe Rogan's pleas to stand up and knocked out Palhares from guard.
Okami's 1-3 record over his last three fights belies his skill level. Granted he was completely outclassed by Anderson Silva at UFC 134, but almost everyone gets embarrassed when they fight Silva these days. After that, he spent 10 minutes showing off his skills against Tim Boetsch, but ate a series of vicious uppercuts early in the 3rd round that lost him the fights. He recovered with a TKO over the unranked Buddy Roberts, but left still left himself open defensively.
Okami and Belcher will scare off in one week at UFC 155 in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. In the main event, Junior dos Santos will have the chance to tie the UFC record for successful Heavyweight title defense against Cain Velasquez.