by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday officially announced a middleweight bout between Alan Belcher and Kalib Starnes. The fight is scheduled to take place as part of UFC 77 on Oct. 20 at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Anderson Silva defends his middleweight championship at UFC 77 in a rematch with challenger Rich Franklin. Rising heavyweight talent Brandon Vera is also set to make his return to the Octagon facing former heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia.
Belcher has traveled a tumultuous rode in his short UFC career. Thrown into the mix immediately, losing a unanimous decision to middleweight contender Yushin Okami, he has managed a 2-2 mark thus far in UFC competition.
Belcher most recently stepped up on short notice to compete at light heavyweight where he sent Sean Salmon reeling, finishing him with a guillotine choke in just 53 seconds.
Against Starnes, he returns to his usual weight of 185-pounds.
Starnes made his way to the UFC via season three of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. He has amassed a 2-1 record in the Octagon, his one loss also at the hands of Okami.
He has since spent time training with the strong stable of fighters at American Top Team and rebounded from the loss, grinding out a unanimous decision over fellow Ultimate Fighter alum Chris Leben in May at UFC 71.
Bouts officially announced for UFC 77 in Cincinnati, Ohio:
–Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin
–Tim Sylvia vs. Brandon Vera
–Josh Burkman vs. Forrest Petz
–Alan Belcher vs. Kalib Starnes
Rumored bouts for UFC 77, not yet confirmed by the UFC:
–Yushin Okami vs. Jason MacDonald
–Jason Black vs. Matt Grice
–Jorge Gurgel vs. Alvin Robinson
–Eric Schafer vs. Stephan Bonnar
–Demian Maia vs. Ryan Jensen