Middleweight prospect Alan “The Talent” Belcher (16-6) took on and defeated former title challenger Patrick Cote (13-6) last Saturday at UFC 113 in Montreal. The fight wasn’t a complete blowout, Cote kept Belcher on his toes but eventually succumbed to a rear naked choke after being power-slammed in the second round. Belcher, who describes Mixed Martial Arts as his “life quest,” told MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani that he thinks the win should propel him directly into title contention and that he harbors no fear of UFC middleweight king Anderson “The Spider” Silva.
“He’s just a human like anybody else,” said the Arkansas native. “What would you do if you were me? What’s Anderson gonna do to me that — if I fight a wrestler or something, he’s gonna try to take me down — [Anderson’s] gonna try to box me and stuff and all I’ve got to do is watch his punches, don’t get punched, land bigger, heavier shots.”
“I can kick harder than him and I think there are harder guys to beat for me than Anderson.”
Belcher is correct in pointing out that Silva is only human; “The Spider” has lost before and he will likely lose again. With MMA being as unpredictable as it is, it is not inconceivable that Belcher could be the man to bring down “The Spider,” it’s just very improbable. Belcher should take care that he does not underestimate Silva (as alien a concept as that may be) based on his last performance against Demian Maia. Silva is easily a top pound-for-pound fighter, if not the top pound-for-pound fighter and beating him might require more than watching his punches. “The Talent” is willing to give Silva props, but believes firmly that he belongs at the top of the division.
“He’s an awesome fighter,” said Belcher. “I’m not trying to put him down. I’m just saying I’m ready for the big fights, whoever they may be.”
If Belcher has his way that big fight will come against Anderson Silva, and sooner rather than later.
“I’d like to fight Anderson Silva next,” he said. “The top guys all lost, I don’t think I have to fight a loser at this point. I will if they ask me to but rankings-wise I don’t think I’ve got to fight a Nate Marquardt or somebody coming off a loss to prove myself. Let me fight somebody that’s top, on a winning streak.”
If the UFC wants to avoid recycling contenders in the middleweight division as it is being forced to do in the welterweight division, they may look to heed Belcher’s advice. If “The Talent” lost to either Demian Maia or Nate Marquardt the UFC would be left with one contender who has already lost emphatically to “The Spider” and another who was cut down before getting the chance to try his luck.
A fight that would make sense for Belcher right now is one against Vitor Belfort; it would give Belfort the chance to stake a claim in the middleweight division and it would give Belcher the opportunity to prove that he does, in fact, deserve a title shot. This bout (and maybe Belcher’s title shot) is unlikely though, as UFC President Dana White has said that, besides Chael Sonnen, Belfort is the last man for Silva to face before he moves on from the middleweight division.
Whatever the future holds for Belcher, one thing is sure: Belcher truly believes that he is among the elite in the UFC and he is ready and willing to fight anyone at anytime to prove that.
“If Chael [Sonnen] gets hurt I’m gonna step in there,” says Belcher of Silva and Sonnen’s impending meet. “If Anderson don’t fight, I’m gonna step in there. Whatever the UFC wants.”