This one is a rematch of a UFC 62 bout that saw Yushin "Thunder" Okami getting his hand raised after taking down and beating up Belcher for 3 rounds. Since then (that fight was his UFC debut) Belcher has gone 9-3 on the job, and is even believed to be. by some, the man who could dethrone Anderson Silva. Okami already had his chance to beat Silva (for real this time) and he blew it. The non-human striking of Silva, along with the superheroesque mind powers of referee Herb Dean on that night in RIO just proved to be more than Okami could handle.
Due to untimely injuries, tonight will mark the 1st time Alan Belcher has competed twice in a year since '09. With this much raw talent at such a young age, it has to be annoying for Belcher to have his career constantly delayed in recent history. I would compare this feeling to the same feeling John McClane had when he was forced to look for his ex-wifes name in the Nakatomi computer database under Gennaro.
Yushin "Thunder" Okami: 27-7 MMA, 11-4 UFC
Alan "The Talent" Belcher: 18-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Okami: Back in February he put Tim Boetsch over by losing in what easily goes down as the greatest comeback victory of the year. After that he beat Buddy Roberts in a fight no one will be writing home to Mum about anytime soon.
Belcher: Four straight finishes since getting shafted by the judges at UFC 100 against Yoshihiro Akiyama. The most impressive being his "Fight Fire with Fire" victory over Rousimar Palhares on FOX in May.
Okami: Anderson Silva (by DQ), Alan Belcher, Mike Swick, Jason MacDonald, Evan Tanner, Mark Munoz, and Nate Marquardt.
Belcher: Jorge Santiago, Denis Kang, Patrick Cote, Jason MacDonald, and Rousimar Palhares.
Okami: This one is virtually a pick 'em. Okami is a -120 heading into fight night.
Belcher: While "The Talent" looks to be closing at -110.
What's at Stake?
Okami: He won't get a rematch against Anderson Silva so for now a title shot is out of the question. However, if Okami outlasts Silva career wise and there is a new champion while he's still competing, it never hurts to keep racking up wins. He's still a top 185'er and like we saw earlier this year with Boetsch, a win over Yushin Okami puts you over the top. Okami is still relatively young and he's shown that he's very serious about his career by working with Chael Sonnen after being beaten up by the 2-time #1 contender in dominant fashion. A loss here won't kill Okami, but a win keeps him right at the top where he's worked so hard to get over the years.
Belcher: This would be a huge. A signature win. He avenges a loss, and he puts his name in the conversation with Chris Weidman, and the winner of Bisping vs. Belfort to get Anderson Silva next.
Killer instinct is the key two word combo that will define this fight. Both men have the ability to finish nearly anyone in their division on any given Saturday. When they smell a wound they go in for the proverbial kill. The odds tell us some of the story here. Like the match up between Pickett and Wineland on FX that'll take place an hour or so earlier on the night, this is a even a match up on paper that you will find. It all comes down to who is willing to take chances, and maybe do something outside of the box. That man for me is Alan Belcher. I see Okami looking to go the safe route in this one while Belcher will look to finish him whether it stays upright or he ends up on his back.
Belcher via an ultraviolence.