MMAJunkie.com is reporting that a long-rumored bout between welterweight debutant Ricardo Almeida and former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes will come to fruition at UFC 117 this August. Almeida confirmed that he has signed the bout agreement on the Versus channel’s The Daily Line; MMAJunkie has received word that Hughes has also signed on for the fight.
Normally a middleweight, Almeida made his welterweight debut at UFC 111 where he choked out tough prospect Matt Brown in the second round. He began clamoring for a match with Hughes after the ex-champ defeated Almeida’s long-time friend and coach Renzo Gracie at UFC 112. A third degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Almeida is currently on a three fight winning streak and is known for his submission prowess but, interestingly, he lost to Hughes in a 2000 ADCC grappling match.
With a record of 44-7 and being one of the most successful champions in the UFC at one time, Matt Hughes is a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame. Many feel that Hughes’ best days are behind him as he has gone 3-3 in his last six fights. His wins have come Chris Lytle, Matt Serra (controversially) and, most recently, Renzo Gracie. His losses all came in devastating fashion; he lost twice to Georges St. Pierre (once by TKO and once by submission) and his most recent loss came via TKO against Thiago Alves. Although he has looked somewhat uninspired lately, he does have two wins in a row and that momentum certainly will not hurt his confidence.
UFC 117 is scheduled to take place on August 7th in Oakland, California at the Oracle Arena. Other rumored bouts for the card include Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen.