Belcher wants September showdown with Bisping

ESPN staff
April 20, 2011

Alan Belcher feared he may never regain full eyesight just a few months ago, but now he has his eyes trained firmly on a September showdown with Michael Bisping.

Belcher has become the forgotten man of the UFC middleweight division, winning four of his last five fights before detaching a retina, which required major surgery. Prior to that moment he had beaten Patrick Cote, Wilson Gouveia, Denis Kang and Ed Herman, while many observers also believe he was robbed of victory against Yoshihiro Akiyama.

The 26-year-old Muay Thai practitioner had been set for an encounter with Demian Maia before he underwent surgery in August, but now he wants to fight Bisping in New Orleans on September 17.

"Right now, I'm planning to come back in September," Belcher told Sherdog. "Bisping is an a**-hole who disrespects the sport and his opponent.

"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."

Bisping has been widely linked to a TUF 14 rivalry with Chael Sonnen, if the American can regain his fight licence, so if the Bisping fight does not happen Belcher has plenty of other targets.

"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. [Vitor Belfort] is a legend and is still close to the top. I'm not sure beating [Wanderlei Silva] gets me closer to the title, but he's a fighter I like. [Maia] and [Bisping] are other possibilities, too."

Clarifying the severity of his situation in the aftermath of the eye operation, Belcher admits things got about as dark as could be imagined.

"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."

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