It was a long road back to the UFC for middleweight Alan Belcher, but after a victory over Jason MacDonald at UFC Fight Night 25 in September, he’s looking to take a major step up in competition for his next fight.
After almost losing his career to a detached retina, Belcher fought and clawed his back to health and then back to the Octagon.
Now his goal is to get back into the UFC middleweight title pictures, and his manager believes if they get the fight they are hoping for, he might only be one match-up away from making a challenge to champion Anderson Silva.
“He might be one opponent away from a title shot. The opponent they’re talking about him fighting, if he beats him or knocks him out, it’s going to be hard not to give him the next title shot,” Belcher’s manager, Malki Kawa, teased when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“I think it’s two fights away to stay conservative and be more realistic, but there’s a great fight on the horizon for Alan Belcher.”
While Kawa stayed tight lipped on the potential match-up, he promised that if it came to fruition a win for Belcher would definitely send him rocketing up the middleweight rankings.
“It’s a top guy at 185, stylistically it’s got ‘Fight of the Night’ written all over it,” said Kawa.
When looking over the top ten list in the middleweight division, several fighters are already booked for fights, but one name that stands out is former UFC champion Vitor Belfort.
“When I talk to Joe (Silva), it’s ‘who does he need to beat to get a shot at the title?’ There’s a couple of names mentioned. Vitor (Belfort) was one of them, and to be honest with you, I love that fight, and I’ll tell you this, Alan loves that fight,” Kawa stated.
Belfort, however, isn’t the only name on the list. Prior to his injury, Belcher had been matched up with grappling ace Demian Maia, who just recently defeated Jorge Santiago at UFC 136, and there are still other possibilities that exist beyond that as well.
“He’s one of about three or four guys we’ve been talking about internally,” Kawa said about Belfort and other potential match-ups for Belcher.
Whoever it ends up being, Belcher wants to face a top ten opponent so he can climb further up the ladder and hopefully reach his ultimate goal: A UFC title shot.