The former King of Pancrase, Ricardo Almeida, has decided to drop to the 170 lb. WW class after his upcoming fight with Kendall Grove at UFC 101. Almeida was 8-2 against phenomenal competition when he dropped out of the MMA scene in 2004 to focus on his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in New Jersey, but the temptation of full contact fighting found him back in the UFC's octagon in 2008, where he's 2-1 against the thick MW competition. In an interview with MMAWeekly, he states:
"Most days I could make 185 by just going and training," Almeida told MMAWeekly.com. "I definitely feel 170 is the better weight class for my body right now. The plan is after this fight to definitely go to 170."The "Big Dog" is a Renzo Gracie black belt, and a veteran of Pride, the UFC, and Pancrase. It is with fond nostalgia that MMA fans look back upon the melee that exploded in the Pancrase ring when Almeida locked a guillotine on current UFC 185 lb. contender, Nate Marquardt, handing him one of his only two submission losses in almost 4o fights. Almeida also holds impressive wins over Kazuo Misaki, Ikuhisa Minowa, Eugene Jackson, and Ryo Chonan. Having a pure submission threat like Almeida will be a welcome addition to the UFC's wrestling-based 170 roster.