The seriousness of Alan Belcher’s recent detached retina injury which forced him to pull out of the headline bout against Demian Maia at next months’ UFN 22 event is only now becoming clear.
Speaking to the PureFight site, the middleweight contender revealed that the damage could potentially be severe enough to end his career.
“Worst case is I don’t get any better than this and I’m only working with one eye and then I probably don’t want to risk fighting again with only one eye, cause if I lose that one, then I’m going to be blind,” Belcher said. “So it’s just — I’m not even really thinking about fighting right now. I’m just going to wait a couple months and see where I’m at. It’s disappointing cause I was on a roll and getting close to a title [shot].”
It should be stressed that this is the worst case scenario, but Belcher says that even if things work out well the vision in his eye will not return 100%.
“[The doctor] says definitely it’s not going to get better to the same, but at best, it’s going to be something like 20/40, 20/60 vision,” Belcher said. “And we could maybe do some more surgeries, laser, on the retina to flatten it out to get rid of the distortedness. Maybe some on my lens to get lasiks cause I’m like going to be really nearsighted where I can’t see anything far away and when it gets close I can almost see it. There’s probably going to be more surgeries, probably, even in the best case scenario.”
It’s a grim diagnosis for Belcher who says he’s not sure exactly how and when the injury occurred. He had recently defeated both Wilson Gouveia and Patrick Cote in impressive fashion, taking his UFC record to 7-4, and the bout with Maia at UFC Fight Night 22 was set to be his first chance to headline a card for the promotion and an indication that his star was on the rise.