UFC Fight Night 25 results: Alan Belcher vs Jason MacDonald fight review and analysis

Photo by Josh Hedges via Getty Images

It took 19 painstaking months, but Alan Belcher finally returned to the Octagon last night (September 17, 2011) in the opening bout of the UFC Fight Night 25 main card.

And he likely couldn't have been happier with the result.

"The Talent" showed no ill-affects of the career threatening detached retina that nearly left him half blind and required vision-saved surgery while pounding out a first round submission via strikes against UFC veteran Jason MacDonald in the first round.

MacDonald had been holding his own against Belcher but he made a big mistake which cost him dearly in the fight, although it's not something he would have anticipated would be so bad. Find out what it is inside.

MacDonald stooped down for a takedown early in the fight but was shrugged off easily. Belcher countered by pressing his opponent into the cage in the clinch, an area he is incredibly strong. "The Athlete" turned the tides on Belcher, though, pushing him into the fence and actually gained some leverage for a takedown attempt. While lifting returning middleweight up for a takedown, he instead fell backwards, pulling Belcher down on top of him into his closed guard.

Little did he know that Belcher had spent a considerable amount of his time off working on his ground game.

Belcher quickly avoided MacDonald's attempts to control his posture and sat up, raining down punches on his opponent. "The Talent" tagged MacDonald with a big left hand that may have broken his nose and this was the beginning of the end for the veteran submission specialist.

As MacDonald began to fade underneath the torrent of strikes, Belcher only got stronger. A last ditch Kimura attempt bought "The Athlete" some time but once Belcher wiggled free, he began to punish MacDonald with elbows and punches while looming over his foe, eventually forcing MacDonald to submit verbally to the blows.

For Jason MacDonald, he's currently gone 1-2 in his most recent stint with the promotion. You can't blame him for pulling guard on Belcher because he had no clue how much stronger "The Talent" had become on the ground. It was a perfectly acceptable strategy that Jason Day used in handing Belcher his last stoppage loss. At 36 years old, MacDonald knows he can no longer hang with the top half of the middleweight division.

If the UFC decides to keep him on board, MacDonald could make an interesting fight against prospects coming off a loss like Dongi Yang or Kyle Noke

For Alan Belcher, he's got to feel terrific right now. With his performance, he's back among the top 15 middleweights in the world and he'll likely get a much sturdier test in his next bout. MacDonald was more of a litmus test to see how he would look after such a long layoff. A bout with Rousimar Palhares would be very interesting, as would a match against the upcoming winner of the Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz bout at UFC 138. If the UFC is more interested in progressing him slowly, the winner of Tim Boetsch vs. Nick Ring wouldn't be a bad choice either.

So what do you say Maniacs? Are you happy to see Alan Belcher back and and ready to get back to his destructive ways in the middleweight division? Could this be the last time we've seen Jason MacDonald in the Octagon?

Sound off!

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