How the tides have shifted.
When Alan Belcher and Yushin Okami first met at UFC 62 all the way back in August of 2006, both men were actually making their promotional debut. In a hard fought contest, Okami used his superior grappling prowess to reel in a unanimous decision victory over “The Talent,” and would follow the victory with three more before dropping a unanimous decision to Rich Franklin at UFC 72. Belcher, on the other hand, would rebound from the defeat by scoring a head kick KO over woeful UFC washout Jorge Santiago, then dropping a third round submission via Brabo choke to TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove.
Since then, Okami has compiled a 10-4 record in the UFC, including wins over a certain Strikeforce welterweight champion and a certain injury-plagued middleweight contender, a title losing bid to Anderson Silva at UFC 134, and a shocking third round upset at the hands of Tim Boetsch that was responsible for the greatest Joe Rogan meltdown in UFC history. Belcher has gone 8-3, with an upset loss of his own to Jason Day and notable wins over Patrick Cote, Ed Herman, and most recently Rousimar Palhares. It should be noted, and has been on several occasions, that his victory over Palhares made one CagePotato writer look like a complete a-hole.
But although Belcher was a considerable underdog heading into their first contest, one has to imagine that he may find himself the favorite heading into their rematch at UFC 155 in light of their recent momentum swings. Belcher’s ground game has looked nothing short of outstanding as of late, and his striking has always been top notch. The outlier here, as was the case in their first matchup, lies in Belcher’s ability to defend the takedown and/or deal with the ridiculous top control that Okami displayed throughout his career, especially in his recent win over Buddy Roberts.
So it’s not exactly the title-earning fight with Belfort or a shot at Chris Weidman that Belcher was asking for, but a chance to erase his very first UFC loss has to be enough to get “The Talent” motivated.
UFC 155 is set to go down on December 29th and is rife with rematches. Not only does the main event feature a heavyweight title rematch between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, but Chael Sonnen will be looking to even a score of his own in a light heavyweight rematch with Forrest Griffin.
So what do you think, Potato Nation? Will Belcher score some much earned redemption, or will Okami reign taco supreme once again?