UFC middleweight fighter Alan Belcher attended UFC 119 last weekend and Ariel Helwani had a chance to catch up with him to find out how his recovery is going after suffering a detached retina back in August.
Belcher has had two surgeries on his right eye since the injury first occurred, and for the time being at least his vision has not fully recovered.
“Pretty much out of my right eye I can’t see people’s faces. You know I cant tell who they are, it’s really blurry, so I mean less than 50% in my right eye. That’s just now getting to where it was…I had a surgery a couple of weeks ago and I’m just now getting where I can actually see people and it’s not dark, but I can’t see their faces very well.”
With that being the case Belcher says there’s no guarantee that he will be able to compete again.
“It’s not 100%. The doctor’s optimistic, you know, and all the doctors that I’ve talked to and everything are optimistic about it, it’s just…if I have other surgeries and other things go wrong it could be a possibility that I can’t fight. Again, I just got to get all healed up and I got to pass an opthalmology exam, and I got to get my vision better you know.”
Before the injury Belcher was set to fight Demian Maia as he stepped ever closer to a possible title shot at 185lbs, and the 26 year-old is remaining hopeful that he can get back into the cage and pick up where he left off.
“I set a goal for myself to win the title and get that belt in 2011 when I was on my streak a while back, and it may be a possibility if I fight in the summer I could fight for a title at the end of the year.”
And if he does make it back he doesn’t expect the UFC to do him any favors by giving him an easier opponent.
“I want to fight whoever’s on top when I come back, I want to fight the top guy and get right back in there.”
He does however stress that even in the best case scenario he could be facing a full year on the sidelines, but for the time being it’s good to see that he’s keeping a positive attitude about his situation, and hopefully he can make a full recovery and return to the octagon sooner rather than later.