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Five Fights We’d Like to See on the UFC Rio Card

(“Screw what I said about business as usual. Let’s make some fan-fucking-tastic fights for this card.”)

With the UFC’s landmark Rio card fast approaching, we thought we’d sit down and think about a handful of bouts we as fans (and pseudo-reporters) would REALLY like to see added to the card.

(We’re looking at you Royce. Seriously. Walk away, dude.)

Check out what we came up with after the jump.


Vitor Belfort: ‘Wanderlei Needs to Learn to Talk Less and Fight More’

(“Thank you Jesus for letting me punch people asleep. bro.”) recently caught up with Vitor Belfort to talk to him about what’s coming down the pipe and the UFC middleweight touched on a few interesting topics including the fact that an agreed upon match-up with Wanderlei Silva fell through for unknown reasons and his desire to make it on the UFC Rio card.

According to “The Phenom,” who says he has recovered from his UFC 127 loss to Anderson Silva and is in a “good state of mind,” in spite of UFC president Dana White’s recent assertion that “The Axe Murderer” accepted the bout, he says Silva decided that a fight with Chris Leben would be an easier test for himself.


Wanderlei Silva Calls Out Vitor Belfort for Rematch

(“Duck you? No, bro. I joined a monastery in Istanbul.”)

In spite of the fact that he has a May dance date with Brian Stann set for UFC 130, Wanderlei Silva seems more focused on erasing a nearly 12-and-a-half-year-old loss from his record than his upcoming opponent.

Speaking with Tatame yesterday, “the Axe Murderer” called out fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort — the man who handed him the second loss of his MMA career.

Read what Wand had to say after the jump.


Brian Stann vs. Wanderlei Silva Official for UFC 130 May 28 in Las Vegas

UFC Ultimate Insider 125 – Watch more Funny Videos

Well, it’s official. Brian Stann will look to pull the rug out from under Wanderlei Silva’s UFC career by attempting to hand the former dangerous PRIDE champ his fourth UFC loss and preventing him from picking up his third win in the past five years when he steps into the Octagon with "The Axe Murderer" May 28 at UFC 130 in Las Vegas. The news was confirmed at the tail end of the latest episode of the UFC’s Ultimate Insider show released this morning.

It’s interesting to note that the majority of UFC middleweights on the cusp of becoming contenders  –  from Michael Bisping to Alan Belcher – ask specifically to face Wand despite the fact that he hasn’t been a contender for quite some time. It’s like he’s the guy guarding the gate to the title shot queue and they have to go through him to get there. 

Both fighters are likeable and it’s unlikely that there will be much (if any) pre-fight smack talk. This one is about the fight, and it’s pretty much a given that’s what we’re going to get on May 28. The tough part will be trying to decide who to root against.


According to Teammate, Alan Belcher Given Medical Clearance to Fight; Expects to Return to the Octagon by Summer

Alan Belcher has been hinting for a while with tweets like the one above that he will soon be returning to the UFC.

"The Talent" has been sidelined since sustaining a career-threatening partially detached retina last summer while training for his UFN 22 bout with Demian Maia, but according to one of his Remix MMA students he has been given the OK by his eye specialist to compete once again and is eyeing (no pun intended) a May or June return to the Octagon.

Here’s what amateur fighter Rodney Derouen said about the situation on’s Underground forum today:

A Maia redo or a scrap with Bisping both sound good to me. Discuss.


Alan Belcher Gets the Nod from His Doctor to Start Training; Says He’s Shooting for a May UFC Return

(Wanderlei vs. Alan will likely happen in April in Toronto since Leben likely won’t be getting across the Canadian border any time soon.)

Alan Belcher got some good news this week regarding the future of his up-in-the-air MMA career.

The UFC 26-year-old middleweight contender was informed by his ophthalmologist during a check-up yesterday that he can resume physical training and that he may get the go-ahead to start light sparring in the coming weeks.

The news came as a welcome surprise for the Biloxi, Mississippi native who suffered a potential career-ending eye injury earlier this year.

"There’s no doubt I miss [training and fighting]; I miss it bad," Belcher told MMAFighting’s Mike Chiappetta today. "I was the kind of guy I’d be training almost every day. You’d have to make me stop because I love it so much. But I did it because it was fun and it makes me feel good about myself. This has been the longest break I’ve taken from training in my entire sports life. I’ve trained every week, almost every day since I was a kid. I started martial arts at eight years old and haven’t missed more than a week, so it was really weird doing nothing for months."


Bisping to Get Loser of Marquardt-Okami?

In a recent interview with Fighters Only, UFC president Dana White revealed that the next time Michael Bisping steps through the doors of the Octagon to compete, he will be staring across the cage at a top five opponent.

Considering the options, it’s a pretty safe bet that said opponent will be the loser of the UFC 122 bout between Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt.

Let’s look at the simple deductive reasoning we used that helped us come to our conclusion:


Belcher Says Eye is Still ‘Less Than 50 Percent,’ But Continues to Work Toward 2011 Return

(VidProps: YouTube/ArielHelwani)

After two surgeries to repair a detached retina in his right eye, Alan Belcher says his vision is still blurry and dark and he told Ariel Helwani backstage during UFC 119 on Saturday that he is “less than 50 percent” recovered. Nonetheless, if Belcher can avoid another surgery it is possible he could return to MMA action sometime next summer, he says.

“My doctor is optimistic and all the other doctors I’ve talked to are optimistic about it,” Belcher says. “It’s just, if I have more surgeries and other things go wrong, it could be a possibility that I can’t fight again. I just have to get all healed up and I have to pass the ophthalmology exam and I have to get my vision better. Right now it’s still blurry and I can’t really take the chance of hurting my other eye. (But) I’ll take the chance myself if the doctors will let me, I’ll get back in there no matter what.” 


Alan Belcher’s Eye Isn’t Healing Well

(Belcher’s recovery from adetached retina isn’t going well, according to his wife.)

UFC middleweight Alan Belcher underwent a second surgery on his right eye Wednesday to repair a detached retina he thinks he suffered in training, and according to his wife, Ashlee, who sent out a few Twitter updates on "The Talent’s" day under the knife, his vision still isn’t where it should be.

Ashlee said that the next few weeks of healing are crucial in the prognosis of the injury.


Alan Belcher May Never Fight Again

(Video courtesy PureFight)

When it was announced that Alan Belcher was forced to pull out of his headlining September 15 UFC Fight Night bout with Demian Maia due to a detached retina he suffered in training, the news was met with a collective, "That sucks. Hopefully when he heals up, the UFC will match them up again."

According to Belcher, he may never get the opportunity to fight Maia again, or anyone else for that matter.

In an interview he did with  PureFight this week, the 26-year-old Biloxi, Mississippi fighter who revealed that he suffered irreparable vision loss as a result of the freak injury said that there is a chance he may never fight again.

Belcher says that he won’t know the extent of the injury or the success of the surgery for at least a couple of months and only then will he be able to assess whether or not continuing to fight will be an option for him or if he will have to walk away from the sport he loves.