Belcher Healing, Wants Bisping in September Return


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.

Related News

  • 15 days ago
  • 50 views

Alan Belcher reveals he will likely move up to light-heavyweight when he makes his return to the cage next summer. When Alan Belcher decides to finally make his return to the octagon, he will have be read news >>

  • 15 days ago
  • 7 views

Don't say he didn't warn you. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Alan Belcher is saying goodbye to the 185-pound weight class when he makes his Octagon return in summer 2015, opting fo read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

GLORY has unlocked all the fights from the recent GLORY 18: RETURN TO GLORY event, which took place on November 7 in Oklahoma City, USA and aired on Spike TV. Watch all five fights from the card for read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 4 views

The UFC is back on Saturday with a return to pay-per-view. Headlined by two title fights, UFC 181 promises to be one of the biggest cards of the year. The main attraction will be a welterweight title read news >>

  • 13 days ago
  • 148 views

Quinton Jackson has only made three appearances with Bellator MMA, but he seems to already have regrets about leaving the world's top MMA promotion. Last month, Rampage posted a message on his Twitte read news >>

  • 7 days ago
  • 4 views

Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichok has won four fights out of four with each performance arguably more impressive than the last, but despite establishing himself as the top contender in the flyweight divi read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 0 views

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Darren Elkins has won seven out of nine fights since cutting down to the featherweight division, but Hacran Dias is not a fan of his fighting style. Elkins, who recently defeated Lu read news >>

  • 9 hours ago
  • 1 views

Mark Munoz will return to action against Roan Carneiro at UFC 184 in Los Angeles. read news >>

  • 9 hours ago
  • 1 views

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has fought only three times in the last two years, including his title defense against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181 on Dec. 6. Not that Pettis likes taking time read news >>

Jump to: