Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares (14-3-0) vs. Alan “The Talent” Belcher (17-6-0)

Neither of these fighters are mentioned enough when conversation arises on the elite of the division. They are easily two of the most toughest, underrated fighters in the middleweight division today. Alan was on the cusp of title contention before an eye injury took him out of the game for a little over a year, and Rousimar’s mental lapse have kept him from reaching the top of the division. Either of them can make a statement here on national television and send a statement to the rest of the division.

Rousimar is 7-2 in his recent record with his only losses coming to top tier fighters Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt. He has also finished and submitted five of his seven victories. Rousimar’s advantage is mostly on the ground, as he has not been tested much standing, except in his knockout loss to Nate Marquardt. Belcher may have a black belt in jiu-jitsu, but as we have seen before, there is a difference in black belts. Rousimar will need to bully the fight to the ground as he losses out in height and reach to Belcher.

Alan will look to keep this fight standing. He may be as dangerous on the ground as he is standing, but he needs to play to his strengths, and not fall into his opponents area of expertise.It’s a safe bet that Belcher has been training to avoid the infamous heel hook.. Whoever wins this fight will move on to a four-fight winning streak. .

The Bottom Line: Alan is the more talented striker of the pair. Rousimar has shown a problem competing with strikers in the past. If Alan keeps it technical standing, and keeps his legs out of danger when it hits the ground, Belcher should coast to a decision victory here.