A middleweight bout between Michael Bisping (23-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and Alan Belcher (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC) will serve as the co-headliner of April’s UFC 159 event.
MMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the bout with UFC officials following an initial report fromESPN.com.
UFC 159 takes place April 27 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The main card, including a headliner between light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Bisping and Belcher both look to rebound from recent high-profile losses that hurt their title chances.
Bisping headlined UFC on FX 7 earlier this month and suffered a second-round TKO loss to Vitor Belfort. The Brit was on a 5-1 run before the setback, and UFC President Dana White had promised him a title shot if victorious. Although “The Ultimate Fighter 3” winner has proven one of the best 185-pounders in the sport today, the Belfort loss marked his second defeat in a title eliminator.
Belcher, meanwhile, was on a four-fight win streak (with four stoppages) before a unanimous-decision loss to former title challenger Yushin Okami at UFC 155. The well-rounded fighter had picked up wins over the likes of Rousimar Palhares and Patrick Cote before the lopsided unanimous-decision defeat to Okami. It was his first loss since UFC 100 in 2009.