Dana White confirmed today that a middleweight meeting between Vitor Belfort and Yoshihiro Akiyama has been set for UFC 133, August 6th in Philadelphia. It’s a bit of tough break for Belfort, who previously agreed to a fight with Wanderlei Silva (which fell through), then pleaded for a spot on the UFC Rio card and didn’t get that either. On the bright side, Belfort has the firepower to knock Akiyama’s dome into the front row, as long as he can avoid eating a surprise front kick. “Sexyama” has dropped his last two fights, and hasn’t scored a victory since his split-decision win over Alan Belcher at UFC 100 in July 2009.
Speaking of UFC 133, welterweight oddball sensation Brian Ebersole will be returning at the Philly event, fresh off his upset decision win over Chris Lytle at UFC 127 in February. Ebersole will face off against veteran Dennis Hallman, who is riding back-to-back wins over Ben Saunders and Karo Parisyan — both of whom were fired from the UFC after those losses. Ebersole and Hallman have a combined 117 MMA fights between the two of them.
In other fight-booking news…
Brad Pickett has withdrawn from his UFC 130 bantamweight match against Miguel Torres due to injury, and will be replaced by Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who was originally scheduled to face hot Brazilian prospect Renan Barao on the same card. Torres and Johnson last saw action at UFC 126 in February, where Torres outpointed Antonio Banuelos and Johnson scored his own decision victory over Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto. UFC 130 goes down May 28th in Las Vegas, and will be headlined by Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 3.
And finally, undefeated Bulgarian light-heavyweight Stanislav Nedkov will make his long-delayed Octagon debut when he takes on Luis Cane at the ‘UFC Rio’ event on August 27th. Cane bounced back to the win column at UFC 128 with a first-round TKO over Eliot Marshall. UFC Rio will also feature lightweight contests between Spencer Fisher and Thiago Tavares, and Edson Barboza vs. Ross Pearson.