The UFC announced two bouts for UFC 149 last night on the ‘UFC Tonight’ show with Yoshihiro Akiyama taking on Thiago Alves in a welterweight bout, and Antonio Carvalho taking on George Roop in a featherweight clash. The event will take place on July 21st in Calgary, Canada. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is expected to defend his title in the main event against an opponent that will be named later.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Thiago Alves (170lbs)
Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-5) has lost four consecutive fights in the UFC after winning his debut at UFC 100 against Alan Belcher via close split decision. Normally fighters would have been cut after three consecutive losses, but Akiyama arguably has faced the toughest opposition for any fighter that’s not in title contention and he’s always pretty exciting in his fights. The UFC has done him no favors by pitting him against Thiago Alves who is a former number one contender in the welterweight division. This will be Akiyama’s second fight as a welterweight after he moved from the middleweight division to take on Jake Shields in the welterweight division back at UFC 144. The judoka
Thiago Alves (19-9) is coming off a devastating submission loss against Martin Kampmann earlier this year. It was a fight that Alves was winning fairly easily until he stunned Kampmann with strikes, and got caught in a guillotine choke as he was going for the takedown forcing Alves to tap with less than a minute left in the fight. Alves is (2-3) since challenging for the title and losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100. However, he’s endured a long layoff and even had corrective surgery on his brain for AVM during this stretch. The muay thai specialist desperately needs a win here and potentially has more pressure on him to win than Akiyama.
Antonio Carvalho vs. George Roop (145lbs)
Antonio Carvalho (13-5) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Felipe Arantes at UFC 142 last year in his promotional debut. The Canadian fighter was riding a three fight winning streak prior to that bout including a win over UFC veteran Doug Evans. Carvalho is one of four people to hold a 2007 win over UFC featherweight Hatsu Hioki who most consider the number two featherweight in the world at this time.
George Roop (12-9) is coming off a TKO loss against Cub Swanson at the UFC on FOX 2 show earlier this year. It was his second consecutive loss and Roop has now gone (1-3) since transitioning to the UFC after the WEC/UFC merger. Roop is in dire need of a win if he wants to improve his chances of staying in the big show.
The following fights have also been announced by the UFC:
- Court McGee vs. Nick Ring
- Bryan Caraway vs. Mitch Gagnon
- Mitch Clarke vs. Anton Kuivanen