Alan Belcher (above) continues to heal from an emergency eye surgery. | Photo: Dave Mandel


Alan Belcher was a middleweight on a roll in the UFC. He had won two straight fights -- beating Wilson Gouveia and former title contender Patrick Cote -- and four of his last five. The only defeat in that span was a controversial split decision loss to Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 100.

All his momentum came to a screeching halt when Belcher suffered a detached retina while training in Brazil for a fight against the world-ranked Demian Maia that was slated to headline UFC Fight Night 22 in September. He underwent emergency surgery in August and has been on the long road back to the Octagon ever since.

“I only had two sparring sessions with heavy hitters [before the injury],” Belcher told Sherdog.com. “I started seeing things, but I didn’t know what to look for. I started noticing something was wrong, and it kind of happened over time. I flew back to the U.S. and had surgery. Then, I had to have surgery again a month later when the retina detached again.”

After undergoing two surgeries in as many months on his right eye, Belcher was forced to contemplate life without full eyesight, much less being able to compete again in the UFC again.

“[After the second surgery] is when it really hit home,” said Belcher, who earned two “Fight of the Night” and two “Submission of the Night” bonuses in his last four fights. “I wondered how I’d be able to see again. I just wanted to be able to see my child and live a normal life. I wasn’t thinking about fighting. People talked to me about fighting again, but it wasn’t in my mind at all. Once my eye finally healed, it was all downhill and so easy from there.”

A member of the Roufusport camp in Milwaukee and a native of Biloxi, Miss., Belcher was released to start sparring again in February. However, it will be several more months before UFC fans will see “The Talent” in action again. A UFC event in New Orleans, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 17, has become his target.

“Right now, I’m planning to come back in September,” said Belcher, who has 14 finishes among his 16 professional victories. “Everything is looking good so far, and I’m glad to be back in training. The time off was good for me. I got to see things from a different point of view. It made me realize just how lucky I was to be a fighter. It’s truly a gift that I’ve been given, but now I’m ready to be back as good or better than I’ve ever been.”

Belcher has had plenty of time to contemplate who he would like to face in his first fight back from injury, and one of the names at the top of the list belongs to “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Michael Bisping.

“Bisping is an a--hole who disrespects the sport and his opponent,” said Belcher. “A fight between me and Michael Bisping is something everybody wants except for Michael Bisping. It would be amazing to sign that fight and have him come to my backyard. He always gets to fight in Britain and other places, but it’d be good to see him come down to Louisiana. I’d love for that to be my comeback fight.”

Other names that Belcher tossed out included Maia, Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva.

“I want to fight the top three or four guys,” he said. “I want someone who will help keep my status high and help me move towards a title shot. I don’t want to have to prove myself again. [Belfort] is a legend and is still close to the top. I’m not sure beating [Silva] gets me closer to the title, but he’s a fighter I like. [Maia] and [Bisping] are other possibilities, too.”

Despite the fact that he has healed enough to be cleared by doctors, Belcher’s vision in his right eye remains blurry. However, he does not see it as a problem.

“My vision is still not perfect, but when both my eyes are open, I can see what I’m doing,” said Belcher, who owns other notable wins over Denis Kang, Ed Herman, Kalib Starnes and Jorge Santiago. “I’m nearsighted in my right eye, and if I close my left eye, things get blurry unless I’m really close to something. It’s getting better every day. I have my peripheral vision, and I can see well enough to spar. I’ll be able to see what people are doing.”

After suffering what might have been a career-ending and life-altering injury, most fighters might be hesitant to get back in the cage for fear of getting hurt again. That does not appear to be the case for Belcher.

“My doctor told me there’s no chance to detach the retina again now that it’s healed up,” said Belcher. “The only problem might come if I get poked in my left eye, leaving me with one blurry eye, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Dan Hardy wants two more UFC fights, names Josh Koscheck and Diego Sanchez as potential opponents

  • 25 days ago
  • 14 views

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight number one contender, Dan Hardy, was booted from mixed martial arts (MMA) back in 2013 after battling a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson read news >>

Dan Hardy wants to return for two more fights; still wants piece of Josh Koscheck

  • 25 days ago
  • 3 views

If Dan Hardy has his way, he'll make another Octagon appearance or two. The popular welterweight from Nottingham, England, hasn't competed since 2012. But at a fan Q & A in Ireland on Tuesday, Hardy read news >>

The 5 Must-See MMA Fights to See in April

  • 26 days ago
  • 133 views

Clear your calendars, ladies and gents. There's a full schedule of mixed martial arts on deck for the month of April. Between single fight cards from Bellator, Invicta FC, ONE FC, World Series of Fig read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63 'Prelims' preview and predictions

  • 26 days ago
  • 4 views

More fights are coming to FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., April 4, 2015) when UFC Fight Night 63: “Mendes vs. Lamas” kicks off from Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumbe read news >>

The List: As Aldo-McGregor looms, the other best-hyped fights in UFC history

  • 26 days ago
  • 5 views

In the latest edition of The List, we take a look at some of the other biggest hyped fights in UFC history with Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo looming in July. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Michael Bisping doesn’t understand injury-prone fighters: I don't pull out of fights

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC middleweight Michael Bisping reveals his dismay with regards to the constant slew of fighter injury withdrawals. read news >>

Glory 20 live stream online: Watch Glory fights right here live from Dubai

  • 26 days ago
  • 14 views

Fight fans, tune in right here to watch Glory 20 LIVE as it happens in an online live stream this Friday. Glory 20 is headlined by Robin van Roosmalen vs. Andy Ristie in a huge world title rematch. T read news >>

Michael Bisping: 'I don't pull out of fights and I don't puss out when somebody headbutts me'

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

Few fighters own a career ledger over the past four years more consistently inconsistent than Michael Bisping. The veteran Brit is just 3-4 over that span, but has alternated wins and losses in a fru read news >>

The Month in UFC History: April's Finest Fights

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

Some of the best, most important and most memorable fights in UFC history have taken place in the month of April. read news >>