Vitor Beltort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama set for UFC 133 writes that Vitor Belfort will return to the Octagon at UFC 133 when he faces Yoshihiro Akiyama.

Vitor Belfort will return to the Octagon for the first time since a stunning knockout loss to Anderson Silva in January when he faces Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133.

The event is scheduled for Aug. 6 in Philadelphia.

Silva used a front kick to the jaw to finish Belfort in their middleweight title fight in January. It was Belfort’s first fight in the UFC middleweight division after dismantling Rich Franklin in a catchweight bout in his return to the promotion.

Akiyama will look to put an end to a two-fight losing streak. He was scheduled to face Chael Sonnen in March, but Sonnen’s suspension by the UFC put an end to the bout. Nate Marquardt replaced Sonnen, but Akiyama was forced to pull out of that fight after the tragic earthquakes in Japan left him unable to travel.

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MMA 2010 Half-Year Awards

PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 29:  UFC fighter Chris Leben (L) battles UFC fighter Jake Rosholt (R) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 102:  Couture vs. Nogueira at the Rose Garden Arena on August 29, 2009 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Who has been the best fighter over the past half year in MMA? What about the best fight or the biggest upset? compiled its half-year awards for 2010 in MMA, handing out honors to the best fighter, the best knockout, the best submission and much more.

Chris Leben was the recipient of best fighter.

This is one tough category to pick. Most contending fighters have only one fight for us to judge them by, meaning you’re looking at a virtual crapshoot when it comes to picking between them.

Because of that, I went with a guy who not only has three fights, but two of them came within two weeks of each other. Leben’s victory over Aaron Simpson was surprising. He went into the fight as a significant underdog who should’ve been overwhelmed by Simpson’s wrestling. Instead, Leben used a surprisingly well-rounded skill set to stop Simpson’s takedown and batter him into a second-round TKO.

Two weeks later, he went into the cage against Yoshihiro Akiyama on short notice and, in one of the most thrilling fights of the year, submitted Akiyama in dramatic fashion to score the biggest win of his career. On top of the two biggest wins of his career, he’s got a win over Jay Silva in January, giving him three solid victories in a year where many fighters only have one.

To check out all of their first-half awards, click here.

UFC 116 Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship puts on UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin tonight from Las Vegas, which features arguably the biggest heavyweight title fight in the history of the organization. Here are my thoughts on tonight’s card.

UFC Heavyweight Championship – Brock Lesnar (4-1) vs. Shane Carwin (12-0) – These two have very similar builds and styles but the key in this fight will be Lesnar’s ability to get the fight to the ground. If the fight stays standing, Carwin has the edge. Carwin should be able to stay off his back and land a big punch to earn the KO win in the first or second round. While Lesnar is a stud, he is still green to MMA and never fought someone with the power that Carwin has. Look for Lesnar to learn a big lesson tonight.

UFC Middleweight Bout – Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1) vs. Chris Leben (20-6) – Leben deserves some credit for taking this fight just a few weeks after competing, but it should be somewhat easy for Akiyama to get him to the ground and submit him after a couple of rounds of work. Look for Akiyama to win by choke in round two.

UFC Welterweight Bout – Chris Lytle (38-17-4) vs. Matt Brown (13-8) – Both of these guys are tough as nails, but Lytle has the edge in striking technique and probably in wrestling as well. Look for him to control Brown and land some big punches to earn a decision victory in what could be Fight of the Night.

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout – Krzysztof Soszynski (20-10-1) vs. Stephan Bonnar (14-7) – This is a rematch of a bout from UFC 110 where Soszynski won when Bonnar was cut by a head butt. After some dispute, Bonnar gets his rematch, but he was losing the first fight before the cut anyway. Look for Soszynski to continue what he started and win a decision win over Bonnar.

UFC Lightweight Bout – George Sotiropoulos (12-2) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (21-4) – Sotiropoulos has emerged as a solid lightweight due to his grappling and submission skills. Pellergrino is a tough guy, but he isn’t quite at the level as his opponent. Look for this fight to spend most of the time on the ground, where George will control the fight and finish with a submission in the third round.

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