Almeida eyes March return in NJ

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                                Almeida eyes March return in NJ

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Former middleweight King of Pancrase Ricardo Almeida has designs on returning to the Octagon for an event tentatively scheduled for March 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The 33-year-old Almeida suffered a torn medial collateral ligament and meniscus in one of his knees while training in October. The injury, which took him out of a UFC 106 matchup with the American Kickboxing Academy’s Jon Fitch, did not require surgery, but it forced the third-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt to endure an intense rehabilitation program.

“I’m still a few weeks away from getting back on the mat,” said Almeida, nearing full strength and in town to corner lightweight contender Frankie Edgar at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale. “I’m already boxing, running and biking -- no sparring yet.”

Should a bout in New Jersey materialize, it will mark Almeida’s first appearance in his home state since he made his UFC debut against 2000 Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland nearly nine years ago.

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 Not suprise knowing Ricardo lives like an hour away from Newark.