Ricardo Almeida will make his welterweight debut against Jon Fitch at UFC 106 on November 21 in Las Vegas, according to MMA Mania, which is reporting that the 170-pound matchup is in the works for the event.
Almeida (11-3), a veteran of PRIDE and Pancrase, returned to the UFC in 2008 with a first-round submission of Rob Yundt. After suffering a split decision loss to Patrick Cote, Almeida defeated Matt Horwich by unanimous decision in April and was expected to drop down from middleweight to welterweight for his next bout. However, the New Jersey-native was offered a middleweight fight against Kendall Grove on the main card of UFC 101 in nearby-Philadelphia and put his plans on hold, defeating Grove by unanimous decision at Saturday’s event.
Fitch (17-3), who had won 15-straight fights including a then-record-tying 8-straight in the UFC, had his win streak snapped last August in a unanimous decision loss to welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre. The welterweight contender, who trains out of American Kickboxing Academy, has rebounded in 2009 with back-to-back decision victories over Akihiro Gono and Paulo Thiago.
Almeida-Fitch, which is the first rumored bout for UFC 106, is expected to air on the event’s pay-per-view main card.
Pictured: Jon Fitch