by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
Belcher Goes for 1st UFC Win Tonight

UFC middleweight up-and-comer, Alan Belcher, joined MMAWeekly’s SoundOff Radio show to discuss his upcoming UFC Fight Night contest with tough ATT fighter Jorge Santiago. Tune in to see what Belcher said about his strengths going into this fight and what he foresees the outcome to be.

Alan Belcher is coming into his second UFC fight much more relaxed and confident than he did in his UFC debut. Alan said, “The first time [I fought in the UFC] I was nervous, but I feel like I’m a totally different fighter now.”

Many different fighters have made references to the emotional high that usually accompanies their UFC debuts, but what did Belcher feel knowing that he was realizing his dream at the moment he walked out of that tunnel?

“It’s amazing. It’s like a dream standing there in that tunnel…it’s like everything that you’ve worked for. It only really hits you at the last minute that you’re about to walk out there and there’s familiar music, and that’s when my heart rate really got up and started pumping. I tried to use that to my advantage…instead of trying to fight the butterflies, I tried to pump myself up.”

Belcher lost a close decision that night to a very experienced fighter in Yushin Okami, but he plans to make some changes coming into this next fight. According to Belcher, one of the biggest differences in this fight will be “The experience I got from my last fight, and the changes and adjustments that I made in my game since then.”

One of the changes that Belcher plans to make for this fight is his control of the ring. Alan said, “Basically in my last fight I over-committed on a lot of my punches. I chased him around trying to be really aggressive punching and kicking…I think he [Okami] played his game plan out pretty well. He just circled and waited and scored some takedowns that made some differences in the rounds.”

Belcher continued, “I learned so much in that fight and one thing I know is that I’m going to cut the ring off a lot more this time. I think Santiago is probably going to have the same type of thing, he’ll probably try to find the same holes in my game as Okami did, so that’s the stuff that I’m trying to brush up on.”

Tonight will be the first UFC show ever held on a Marine base, and many of the participating fighters are honored to be able to give back to some of the Marines who have done so much for their country. Belcher said, “Man, it puts a little more pressure…you want to perform for these guys and gals that are fighting for our country. I look up to them and I want to give back.”

Belcher continued, “It’s really exciting to be out here on the base. They treat us really good and stuff, I can’t wait to fight in front of the military.”

Belcher has a message for all UFC fans on what they can expect to see from him on December 13th…

“People can really expect me to be a tough opponent for Jorge Santiago and if they don’t know me they should expect a lot of exciting punching, kicking and me trying to keep the fight standing. I like to please the fans…I’ve kind of gotten in a habit of doing that over the past couple of years trying to make it to a higher level, so, I’m always punching, kicking and trying to keep the fight standing. That’s what they should expect,” Belcher said.

Alan wants to leave fight fans with one more thought…

“I’m going to do the best that I can to win this fight, and every fight after. I’m going to try to make a good run the next three or four fights and try to make myself known. I want to be in contention for that belt…I want to get better every time and I think that people should really take me seriously, watch my fights and realize what kind of level that I’m at and see how serious of a fighter I am…and don’t jump on the bandwagon when I’m getting to the top, support me now,” Belcher said.

Tonight, Belcher will get his opportunity to put all of his hard training and his revised game plan into effect when he steps into the cage with Jorge Santiago. The fights begin at 5:00 pm PST/8:00 pm EST and will be broadcast live on Spike TV, the “First Network for Men.”