Belcher (18-8 MMA, 9-6 UFC) suffered a technical unanimous decision loss when an inadvertent eyepoke from Bisping (24-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) rendered him unable to continue in the middleweight bout, which co-headlined Saturday’s pay-per-view event at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The poke left blood gushing from the same eye in which Belcher suffered a detached retina, which kept him out of action from May 2010 to September 2011 and required two surgeries. Thankfully, his latest ailment was unrelated to the detached retina, which doctors previously told him could be a career-long (and even life-long) concern.
As he wrote on Twitter, “I’m ok.. Just got back from e.r. 8 stitches in eyelid. Disappointed. To my real supporters, I’m sorry, thank you once again.”
Immediately following UFC 159, UFC President Dana White said the organization was unsure of Belcher’s status. The 29-year-old had been taken to the hospital immediately following the bout, in which Bisping kept a clear striking advantage and cruised to a victory via 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 scores.
The diagnosis is good news in what otherwise has been an unfortunate stretch for Belcher. “The Talent” had won four straight fights and was on a 6-1 run before recent back-to-back losses to Yushin Okami and Bisping, which spoiled his title hopes.
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