UFC on FOX 3 is set to take place in New Jersey from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford on May 5. In the main event lightweights Nate Diaz and Jim Miller will throw down in a five-round non-title fight.
Alan Belcher was on a fast rise to the top before an eye injury in training forced the middleweight to take a 16-month hiatus from active competition to recover. Possessing a well-rounded skillset he has gone 5-1 in his last six outings and 7-2 in his last eight. We last saw Alan competing against Jason MacDonald last September in his welcome back to the Octagon match. He was able to submit the grappling based fighter before the end of the first round.
Palhares also comes into the matchup with the backing of a three-fight win-streak behind him. The submission savvy Brazilian last saw action at UFC 142 submitting Mike Massenzio in just one-minute. To date Rousimar has only dropped three of his 17 pro fights. His lone UFC losses came at the hands of Dan Henderson and Nate Marqaurdt.
This is a fight where the winner will likely push themselves into a contender match for the title.
The latest UFC on FOX 3 card now includes:
Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller
Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck
Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares
Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
John Dodson vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish
Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola
Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker
Continue to next page for the “Editors Breakdown and prediction.”
This middleweight contest has serious implications for the winner. Alan Belcher’s mix of striking and Jiu Jitsu have been able to take out nearly everyone the UFC has put in front of him in recent years.
Palhares on the other hand is more one dimensional, he has the power, but his more compact stature makes his striking not as effective. To his credit though, his one solid dimension is his leg-lock abilities and his extreme power and relentlessness in getting fights to the ground and taking out his opponents.
I for one am a believer in all things Belcher. He has worked hard over the years to evolve and it shows when he steps into the cage. I think his defensive wrestling is good enough to keep this fight on the feet where he should have the clear advantage and if that fails him, his Jiu Jitsu is good enough to stay out of danger on the ground and get it back to the feet.
There is the possibility that Palhares uses his brute strength to bully Alan to the mat repeatedly and blanket him to try and earn points, but those big muscles take a lot of oxygen and even if this strategy pans out for him in the beginning, the second portion of the fight should swing more in Belcher’s favor.
If you haven’t already picked up on it by now, I am going with Alan Belcher, my guess is a three-round bout for position and cage control that Alan Belcher wins with better footwork and striking.
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