Thiago Alves to fight Martin Kampmann

After an inconsistent run, former top welterweight contender Thiago Alves will look for his second consecutive win March 3 when he faces Martin Kampmann in Sydney, Australia.

UFC confirmed the fight Wednesday.

Alves' bid to become welterweight champion fell short in July 2009, when he lost a lopsided unanimous decision to titleholder Georges St. Pierre.

Since that loss, Alves (19-8) has struggled to regain his winning form. He is just 2-2 since, but looked good in his most recent outing -- registering a first-round submission against Papy Abedi at UFC 138 in November.

Though Abedi entered the bout unbeaten as a professional, he wasn't expected to present Alves with much of a threat. But that won't be the case with Kampmann.

Once regarded as a potential top contender in the 170-pound division, Kampmann dropped back-to-back disputed decisions to Jake Shields in October 2010 and Diego Sanchez on March 3.

Kampmann (18-5) proved that he is still a formidable welterweight Nov. 19 with an unanimous decision over once-highly touted Rick Story.

The first round of UFC's flyweight championship tournament is also slated to begin on the March 3 card. Ian McCall takes on Demetrious Johnson, while Joseph Benavidez locks horns with Yasuhiro Urushitani.

Winners of the first-round bouts will fight for the title on a date that is yet to be determined.

Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.