World-ranked middleweights Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher will collide in the UFC 159 co-headliner, UFC officials announced Wednesday.
The April 27 event takes place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and is headlined by a light heavyweight title collision between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen. The evening’s main card airs live on pay-per-view, while FX and Facebook will broadcast the preliminary card.
Bisping, 33, saw his hopes at a title shot dashed by Vitor Belfort in his most recent outing, as “The Count” was knocked out by Belfort in the second round of their UFC on FX 7 clash on Jan. 19. Bisping has lost just twice in his last seven outings, with his other defeat coming to Sonnen in a hard-fought three-round contest one year ago. Prior to his loss to Belfort, the Brit closed out 2012 with a unanimous decision victory over ex-WEC titleholder Brian Stann.
Five years younger than his foe, Belcher saw a four-fight winning streak snapped in his most recent outing, falling via unanimous decision to Yushin Okami one month ago at UFC 155. “The Talent” returned from eye surgery in 2011 after spending 16 months on the shelf, scoring a first-round finish over Canadian veteran Jason MacDonald that September before doing the same to Brazilian leg lock specialist Rousimar Palhares this past May.