With all the news surrounding the cancellation of UFC 151 and Jon Jones rejection of a proposed Chael Sonnen fight, many other stories have gotten buried. The back injury of UFC Middleweight Alan Belcher is one of those stories. Belcher was scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort at UFC 153 until Belfort was tapped to challenge Jones at UFC 152. It wasn't until then that Belcher spoke up publicly about his injury and announced that he'd be unable to compete at the October event.
Bloody Elbow's own Steph Daniels caught up with Belcher on Sunday afternoon to find out more about his injury, the shake-up with his fight against Belfort and who he wants to fight next.
Hit the jump for some of Belcher's direct quotes.
I was just training hard and lifting weights. My back has been bothering me the last couple years. So I think it was all leading up to this. It finally just gave way. I went and got it x-rayed and they called it a fractured spinal process. It's one of the lower parts of your spine.
I took 3 weeks off and I was thinking about backing out. That was probably the best thing at that point. Then, about a month into it, it started to feel better. I tried to tough through and make this fight happen. I was starting to get back into training last week then they were thinking of putting Vitor (in against Jon Jones as UFC 152) and my back was still pretty sore. That was the final cultivator of the decision.
As far as the Vitor thing, I woke up the next morning pissed! I was surprised like everyone else finding out on Twitter. The UFC didn't even call me the night before. I woke up to read it and had to call up my manager, had to call Joe Silva to find out what's going on.
It was kind of shocking, but then I kind of stepped back and was like, "That is the best thing that can happen at this point." That way my ego's not going to take over and try to get me to fight.
I just asked for two to three weeks extra that I can really just rest before I get back into hard training. I wanted to maybe try to fight Chris Weidman on November 17 (at UFC 154). That would be the earliest and I feel like I'll be ready then.
Me and Chris Weidman are the top fighters in the division with the best streaks that could challenge the champ.