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UFC 81: Ricardo Almeida vs. Alan Belcher

Belcher on Friday confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that he will face Almeida at UFC 81.

The Renzo Gracie-trained Almeida has not competed in mixed martial arts since May 23, 2004, but his last two wins were over quality opponents.

The fight is a good measuring stick for both fighters. A win over the former middleweight King of Pancrase would likely show that Belcher is ready to compete for a championship. For Almeida, a win over the young Southerner would immediately mark his return to title contention.

2008 UFC cards as of today:

UFC 80: JANUARY 19, 2008 IN NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND
-Joe Stevenson vs. BJ Penn
-Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Fabricio Werdum
-Marcus Davis vs. Jess Liaudin
-Alessio Sakara vs. James Lee
-Kendall Grove vs. Jorge Rivera
-Sam Stout vs. Per Eklund
-Paul Kelly vs. Paul Taylor
-Colin Robinson vs. Antoni Hardonk

UFC 81: FEBRUARY 2, 2008 IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena
-Nathan Marquardt vs. Thales Leites
-Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
-Tyson Griffin vs. Gleison Tibau
-Alan Belcher vs. Ricardo Almeida

UFC 82: MARCH 1, 2008 IN COLUMBUS, OHIO venue: Nationwide Arena
-Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson
-Jon Fitch vs. TBA
-Josh Koscheck vs. TBA