Alan Belcher: Being nervous is a good thing (Yahoo! Sports)


Just a day to go before I fight Michael Bisping in the co-main event, the biggest fight of my life, at UFC 159. I’m gonna be honest, this is the most nervous I’ve ever been before a fight. There’s so much on the line for me – and him – in this fight.

One day, I will be UFC champion. One day, I will string it all together, use all my weapons and skill set, and when I do that, I can beat anyone in the middleweight division. But now I have to prove that in a huge fight on a huge card.

Being nervous is actually good. The only fights I’ve lost in my career, I wasn’t nervous. Even in my last fight against Yushin Okami, I wasn’t nervous because I didn’t think he could hurt me. He didn’t hurt me, but he managed to hold me down in what was a disappointing fight for me and for the fans. I don’t like being in fights like that. I like to score submissions, knockouts and be in exciting fights which get the fans out of their seats.

That’s what I am looking to do on Saturday here in New Jersey. I want to take Bisping out in one round, in exciting, and brutal fashion. I have no doubt, not one doubt in my mind, that I can knock Bisping out on Saturday night.

It’s a grudge match. I want to embarrass him and shut his mouth up, humble him a little, but I also want to step on him like a stepping stone and get closer to that title shot. I think I do that by knocking him out, by looking my best and putting on an exciting finish. I want fans walking out the arena, or turning off the TV at home watching it on pay-per-view, to go “Wow, I can’t wait to see Alan Belcher fight another top contender.”

That’s how I get back to the top of the division and finally get my title shot.

On this week’s media call, Bisping was being his usual douche self by calling me names, pretending I’ve never fought anyone, trying to rattle me. But I knew this was going to happen. I’ve watched this guy for years, I’ve asked to fight him for the last six years we’ve been in the UFC, and I know his game too well. He always talks smack, tries to make opponents doubt themselves, pretend he’s going to be aggressive in the fight and then run around the Octagon on fight night looking to win on points.

But there’s nothing – nothing – Bisping can do or say to make me doubt the fact I am a better fighter.

This is a great opportunity for me. The biggest profile fight I’ve ever had, the biggest stage I’ve been on, with the most media and fan attention. I got the spotlight I wanted, now I’ve got to go out and prove to everyone why I am one of the best middleweights out there.

That’s why I am nervous. It is all there for me on Saturday. I’m not afraid or intimidated by Bisping. I could let that guy punch me in the face and he couldn’t hurt me. I’m nervous because, finally, it is time to shine on the big stage. I’m nervous, excited, and am ready. I can’t wait to get started, to walk to the Octagon, and show the fans what I got.

I have said it from the day I signed to fight Bisping, and I will say it now we are in fight week: I am going all out to knock him out in one round.

If he makes it to the second round, OK, great, because he will be using so much energy running around trying to avoid me, he’s going to tire and he will really be in trouble then. I am in the shape of my life, and he’s going to tire first running around trying to avoid me.

I will say it again: I don’t need to touch his chin. Anything at all above the shoulder will put him away. I’m not going in there thinking this is easy – that’s the mistake he’s making – but I know at some point I will land, he will go down, and I will walk about a top 3 contender.

Follow me on Twitter @alanbelcherufc and check out smashthebrit.com.

Alan Belcher vs Michael Bisping takes place as the co-main event of UFC 159, this Saturday live on Pay-Per-View and Yahoo! Sports.

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