by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy of RicardoAlmeida.com)

Renzo Gracie black belt Ricardo Almeida is making his return to mixed martial arts following a three-year layoff, according to a report by Kid Peligro of ADCC News.

Almeida, who has been busy running his own academy and performing assistant coaching duties for Renzo’s New York Pitbulls team in the IFL, hinted at a possible return when he last spoke with MMAWeekly’s Mick Hammond in April of this year, saying, “I have been training really hard, as always, and I have been considering some proposals to come back into the MMA middleweight scene.”

According to Peligro’s report, Almeida will make his return fighting for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships promotion on the East Coast. It appears that Dennis Hallman is the likely opponent for Almeida’s return bout.

Despite a rollercoaster start to his professional career, Almeida quickly established himself in the sport. After starting 2-2, he walked away from competing in MMA and his King of Pancrase title with an 8-2 record, stringing together wins over the likes of Nate Marquardt, Kazuo Misaki, Ikuhisa Minowa, and Ryo Chonan.

A veteran of the UFC, Pride, and Pancrase, the 30 year-old Almeida’s only losses were to Andrei Semenov and Matt Lindland, two of the better fighters in mixed martial arts.