Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami: Does Belcher Deserve a Title Shot with a Win?

Kyle Symes@ksymes88Correspondent IIIDecember 29, 2012

May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  Alan Belcher before a middleweight bout with Rousimar Palhares during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Alan Belcher won by technical knock out in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Alan Belcher will be looking for some vindication at UFC 155. Belcher will be facing Yushin Okami in a middleweight clash on the main card. Okami owns a victory over Belcher from their first meeting, when Belcher made his UFC debut.

Belcher endured a roller coaster ride during his UFC run but seems to have finally turned a corner as of late. After coming back from a near career-ending eye injury, Belcher has won two straight in the Octagon, including a TKO stoppage over the dangerous Rousimar Palhares.

Those two wins coupled with his previous outings give Belcher four wins in a row coming into UFC 155. Would a win over Okami earn the middleweight a title shot?

I would be inclined to say yes, but it shouldn't be an immediate shot. Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort will be fighting one another in early 2013, and should Bisping emerge victorious he very well could be in line for the next title shot.

Then, of course, there's the undefeated prospect Chris Weidman, who looked amazing en route to thrashing Mark Munoz earlier this year. Weidman looks to be a complete fighter and is being pegged by many to be the guy to take out Anderson Silva.

Belcher has the talent  to be a handful for anyone at middleweight. We all know about his striking game, as Belcher is one of the better kickboxers in the division. He doesn't have that one-punch KO power but can string together a number of combinations that can end to the fight at any time.

Belcher also owns a black belt in jiu-jitsu along with a brown belt in judo. That's more than enough grappling prowess to contend with anyone in the upper tier of middleweight contenders.

What has held Belcher back in the past is his inability to get past the elite level of middleweights. By defeating Okami, he will have proven he has finally put the pieces together and should be given his crack at the UFC title.