Thomas Almeida (José Youngs/The MMA Corner)Fight of the Week: Thomas Almeida vs. Anthony Birchak Danny Doherty November 5, 2015 Events, Previews, Spotlight, UFC One of the most appealing aspects of mixed martial arts is that there is no “off-season”. There are fights going on every week without fail. From the huge promotions to the small promotions, there is always something for fight fans to enjoy. Here at The MMA Corner, we will preview the best fight taking place this week, regardless of its placement during an event. This week’s Fight of the Week is a main card bout on UFC Fight Night 77 in the bantamweight division between rising star Thomas Almeida (20-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Anthony Birchak (12-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC). On Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, the UFC will land in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to bring fans UFC Fight Night 77. The card is headlined by a rubber match between MMA legends Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson. However, there is a great matchup on the main card between fierce strikers Thomas Almeida and Anthony Birchak. Birchak is coming off an incredibly impressive knockout win over former title challenger Joe Soto. It was a great recovery from his debut defeat to leg-jitsu specialist Ian Entwistle. The Arizona native is a great pressure fighter on the feet and possesses dangerous speed. He is also slick on the ground, with seven of his twelve wins coming via submission. Birchak’s opponent, Thomas Almeida, is one of the most promising young fighters in recent memory. His striking is creative and constant. Opponents of Almeida’s have to deal with combinations coming from odd angles, all with fierce power. He has been very impressive in all three of his UFC appearances, knocking out veterans Brad Pickett and Yves Jabouin in that span. He has three post-fight bonuses in as many fights and is already ranked eighth in the bantamweight division at just 24 years of age. The hype surrounding the undefeated Almeida is very justified, but an upset could be brewing in this matchup. As great as Almeida’s striking is, his defense can use some work. His debut fight against the lesser-skilled Tim Gorman turned into a slugfest in which defense was absent. Then in Almeida’s fight against Brad Pickett, the Brazilian was knocked down not once, but twice by the British striker in just the first round before uncorking a beautiful flying knee in the second round for the victory. Birchak, like Pickett, is not a fighter you want to be careless with your defense against. Given Almeida’s iffy defense, and Birchak’s dangerous striking, this is a fight to keep an eye on this weekend.