UFC 100: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher

Jessy MorrisAnalyst IJuly 1, 2009

CHICAGO- OCTOBER 25:  People attend the UFC 90 at UFC's Ultimate Fight Night at Allstate Arena on October 25, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

On July 11th, 2009, history will be made as the Ultimate Fighting Championship presents UFC 100 live from Las Vegas Nevada. The event is sure to be stacked with some great fights, and the first fight on the main card will feature two hungry middleweight contenders as UFC newcomer Yoshihiro Akiyama fights 13-4 Alan "The Talent" Belcher.

Yoshihiro Akiyama is a 33-year-old Japanese fighter who used to fight for such organizations as K-1, Hero's, and DREAM and who holds an MMA record for 12 wins, one loss, and two no contests. Before making the jump to MMA, Akiyama was a decorated Judoka who won several titles in the art. Since becoming an MMA fighter, his only loss came against Jerome LeBanner in 2005 and since then had two no contests against Kazushi Sakuraba and Kazuo Misaki.

A lot of fans have been waiting for Akiyama's UFC debut for some time now, can he be relevant in the UFC is a big question that nobody can answer for sure at this time.

Alan Belcher had a rough start in the UFC, fighting Yushin Okami at UFC 62. He ended up losing a decision, but put up a good show for the fans and was brought back to fight Jorge Santiago, who he KO in the third round with a brutal head kick.

Belcher went 4-2 in his next six fights, most recently defeating top middleweight prospect Denis Kang who was making his UFC debut. Belcher was put in front of Kang at UFC 93, with most people expecting Belcher to lose, but "The Talent" prevailed and submitted a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

At UFC 100, Alan Belcher now welcomes Yoshihiro Akiyama to the octagon in what should be an interesting fight. This will be Akiyama's first fight ever out of Asia and his first fight ever in a cage. This could possibly play a major role in the fight. Add to that he'll be fighting at UFC 100, so Akiyama will probably be feeling a lot of pressure.

Alan Belcher is probably expected to lose again, but last time he welcomed a newcomer, he pulled out the upset. Belcher is hungry for stardom at only 25-years-old. Both men are well rounded fighters. Belcher may have the advantage in the stand-up, but we all know that Yoshihiro has better Judo. Will that be a factor? Only time will tell. I personally don't think Judo is enough to win a fight, but Akiyama could maybe prove me wrong.

A loss for Akiyama would definitely be a setback for him. You only have one chance to make a first impression and the time is now. With a win, Belcher puts himself in a very good spot. Maybe a fight against a top 10 fighter would follow.

We will see two hungry fighters trying to make a serious impact in the UFC middleweight division when these two men collide at UFC 100. One thing is for sure in this fight, expect the unexpected.


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