by Tom Hamliin – MMAWeekly.com
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.
In an earlier conversation with MMAWeekly.com, Belcher said a win over the controversial Japanese star would put him in the top ten of the middleweight division.
“(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.”
That said, Belcher doesn’t think the fight will be easy.
“He’s a well-rounded, tough-ass dude,” he continued. “That’s the kind of fights I want to fight. I want to fight the best guys. I still have work to do.”
Belcher’s last appearance was a step in the right direction, an upset victory over the highly touted Denis Kang at UFC 93. Currently, he is 5-3 in the UFC with an overall record of 14-5.
Akiyama’s last appearance was in the final round of Dream’s Middleweight Grand Prix, where he defeated Masanori Tonooka by armbar in a non-tournament bout. He carries an overall professional record of 12-1 with two no contests.
Biloxi, Miss. resident Belcher hopes to spoil Akiyama’s debut with his formidable muay Thai skills.
“I can promise you in my next fight I’m definitely going to hit the guy hard,” said Belcher. “I don’t want to leave the fight thinking that I didn’t try and knock him out. I want a knockout bad. I think I can knock everybody out in the UFC.”
Check back with MMAWeekly.com for updates on this fight as they become available.