When the UFC came calling to ask Vitor Belfort to step in and face Jon Jones in the main event of UFC 152, it actually ended as a blessing in disguise for his original opponent Alan Belcher.
Belcher and Belfort were set to square off in Brazil as part of the UFC 153 show, but an injury had slowed down the Mississippi native’s training recently.
“About 3 or 4 weeks back I had a real bad back problem. I went to the doctor, found out that I had a spinal fracture, and that put me out for like three weeks,” Belfort said in a video blog posted on Sunday.
Belcher was ready to push forward and continue on with the fight against Belfort, bad back or not, but when his opponent was yanked to compete at UFC 152, he knew that he had to take some time off to recover.
The delay forces Belcher off the UFC 153 card in Brazil, but he says he hopes to return as early as November and he has his sights set on a No. 1 contender’s match with the other top 185lb fighter without an opponent currently.
“Chris Weidman, I think that fight makes sense,” Belcher stated. “Do I think that he’s the No. 1 contender? I don’t know about that, but I think that he’s definitely up there.”
Belcher understands that right now UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is looking for the biggest fights possible and those names include fighters like UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, so he’s not the business of calling out the champ.
What he does want is a top fight to push forward with later this year, and he believes that person is Chris Weidman.
Whether the bout actually happens or not remains to be seen, but Belcher is confident that his back will be healed up shortly and he can field calls from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to help facilitate his return to action.
“I just need a couple extra weeks and I’ll be back in action,” said Belcher.
Now it’s just the matter of finding the opponent and the date for his return.
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