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In part two of this MMAmania interview exclusive, Mike Bohn talks to UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher about being an active member of the online mixed martial arts (MMA) community, a future career in broadcasting, his goals for 2013 and a breakdown of some critical middleweight fights on the horizon.
When it comes to mixed martial arts (MMA), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Alan Belcher is more than just a competitor, he is a teacher and student of the game.
"The Talent" enjoys breaking down fights and sharing his mixed martial arts (MMA) knowledge of techniques for anyone interested on his official YouTube page. The videos are beginning to take off and Belcher is slowly starting to get recognition for his ability to analyze fights and fighters.
In part two of this MMAmania.com exclusive (read part one here), Belcher talks to Mike Bohn about a potential future in MMA broadcasting, as well as his thoughts on four major fights with respective relevance to his weight class, including Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares, Tim Boetsch vs. Constantinos Philippou, Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping and, of course, Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre.
Read part two of this MMAmania.com exclusive interview with Belcher below:
Mike Bohn (MMAmania.com): You're very active in the online MMA community on forums and stuff like that. When did you start doing all those fight breakdowns and video blogs and what made you decide to do that?
Alan Belcher: Man, a couple different reasons man. I wanted to get back to teaching and sharing with people, answering questions. It kind of just fires up my brain in a different way ever since I started breaking down fights and ever since I started teaching techniques to people, it got my brain firing back to when I used to teach a little bit more. Once I got out of the habit of teaching I lost a little bit. I lost a little bit of that, I don't know, scientific part of it and now that I've been doing that it's been helping me as a fighter. It's also helped me stay motivated with my fans and it give me something to look forward to every week, it gives them something to look forward to. And it keeps my engaged with the community and keeps me from backing up and going off with my family and just kind of I don't want to be thinking about MMA or fighting right now. And I've done that enough for the last couple years. Now I'm ready to get to it. It helps me stay involved and it also helps me grow my fan base and you know, UFC, who fights next in the UFC or who is the top guy, a lot of it has to do with how many fans you have and how many Twitter followers you have, so unfortunately that's something you have to do so, you know, I just want to do it the legitimate way. Get my face out there and make the videos for the fans and if they like me they can be a fan of mine and it kind of works out for everybody.
Mike Bohn (MMAmania.com): Beyond the video blogs, would you ever be interested in being an analyst on any of the FUEL TV broadcasts or pre and post-fight shows for the UFC where they have fighters on?
Alan Belcher: Yeah, absolutely. I mean I'm not really auditioning for it with my video blog or anything, but if they were to ask me to do it I would be down for it. I've definitely gotten better at it since I started. That's another thing, not because I'm planning on being an analyst or anything when I'm finished, but when you start talking and doing interviews or talking and breaking down something when you are a guest or color-commentator or whatever, you know, you've got to be in practice for that. So as I started doing the videos I've been getting a little better at it and that's just something else where I kind of challenge myself and it helps me communicate and share my vision and my thoughts about the sport with the community.
Mike Bohn (MMAmania.com): Well if that's the case, since we're on the topic I'll ask you for some predictions and breakdowns of some upcoming middleweight fights. Firstly, Rousimar Palhares vs. Hector Lombard?
Alan Belcher: That's an interesting fight right there. They're both short and stocky guys which means their power, their explosiveness, their energy is kind of similar. Hector has a lot better hands; he could end the fight with a punch anytime. He's not going to get taken down very easy by Palhares; it's going to be more of a takedown attempt to go for leg locks. Then Hector's got those short legs and he's pretty good with leg locks himself, so I don't see it. I just see it being a bad match up for Palhares, Lombard has to win this fight or he looks like a joke coming into the UFC, I still got faith in him though. Coming from me being a fighter and I've fought Palhares, if he was to win the fight that would make my stock go up so I have to root for Palhares to win and obviously he's very high-level and he can definitely rip some people's legs off. So I'm going for Palhares, rooting for him hoping he can catch a heel hook and stop Lombard, but my prediction if I was a betting man I would give a slight edge to Lombard and probably say it's going to be a boring decision where he's stopping takedowns and you know, limp legging out of those leg locks. But man, I'll tell you one thing where I practiced not going, I saw everyone tried to block the takedowns and when he would go for a leg lock they would limp leg and turn away and pull the leg out and that's how everyone got caught. So I could see Lombard making that mistake. When you do turn your back and twist your knee out of there, Palhares, when most people can't get their leg locks from that position, that's whenever he gets the best so, he does have to be careful there. I will be rooting for Palhares.
Alan Belcher: I don't really know too much about that guy [Philippou]. I do know Boetsch is, whether or not he's a high-level wrestler, his striking looks a little funny -- he is high-level. He's got the right mindset and he's go the drive, he's got the heart and the conditioning so, he can really take it to anybody, he can last. He's got a solid chin, he's got knockout power, he can grapple pretty well. So he's definitely not a pushover. That being said I don't know much about the other guy so I don't think I can give a fair prediction.
Alan Belcher: Bisping's advantage is his ability to move side-to-side and to take some time off the clock, play that game to where he can outpoint Vitor. Also Vitor looks pretty easy to take down and Bisping has learned how to get those takedowns at the right time in his fights, so maybe he'll be able to get him down. I will tell you this, Vitor Belfort will not be as easy to take down as Brian Stann, no offense but Brian Stann is going to be easier to take down than Vitor Belfort so, that fight can't really let you anything. Bisping looked awesome he looked like a takedown artist in that fight, but Vitor will not be that easy to take down. That being said he may be able to land some takedowns on Vitor. I've been flip flopping around, Vitor has way more stopping power than Bisping does. He has way more aggressive submissions, more aggressive punches and kicks, and being a southpaw, you know, Bisping's right in line with that power high-kick, that powerful left hand. Belfort's strong; he might be a little bit too much for Bisping so, I'm going to pick Vitor Belfort, just because that would, it's most for personal reasons as far as my spot in the division. That would kind of fluff it up and shake it up cause Vitor, I don't know if should get a title fight because he had one not too long ago but he just took out Bisping, so that would mean Bisping is 2-2 in his last four fights so he's not really ready. But if Bisping were to beat Belfort that would really propel him towards a title shot so, the more people that I can get out of my way the better. I don't like them to get injured that's not very nice, but whatever happens, they get a loss or whatever, you know, it just opens it up. So I'm picking Vitor and I'm rooting for Vitor.
Mike Bohn (MMAmania.com): Actually this is the last one, I lied there before. If Anderson Silva does fight GSP, who do you like in that one?
Alan Belcher: Man, that's a really hard to pick but I have to go with Anderson though. He has the size, he finds a way to win, he has knockout power in his hands. GSP is so sharp you can't really get in on him, he'll probably find a way to get Anderson down at some point, but just getting in on a taller guy on his legs like that is - it could make a big difference what weight they fight at. If it's a catchweight somewhere in the middle, Anderson has the advantage. If Anderson could make 170, then that'll level the playing field. He won't have the power, you know, he'll lose a little. You lose some mass, you lose some power, you lose some gas, so, if he had to cut down to 170 then I would pick GSP. If they meet somewhere in the middle I think Anderson would tear him apart pretty easily.
Mike Bohn (MMAmania.com): If that fight does happen and Silva isn't fighting in the middleweight division until maybe the end of 2013, what do you think the UFC should do? Michael Bisping suggested an interim title, what do you think is the right decision if Silva isn't defending the belt?
Alan Belcher: Yeah it's definitely possible, you can't duck everyone, and I'm not saying he's ducking anyone, but you can't duck the division and fight in other divisions forever. At some point you've got to fight the people in your weight class to keep that belt. So it seems the right thing to do would be interim, an interim title but yeah, I'm hoping I can get a couple fights in and Anderson will agree to fight me, get my shot and you know, maybe what I've worked for will finally come to a head and we'll see where I'm at in life.
Alan Belcher: My goal in 2013 related to fighting is just to fight, get my fights signed more faster. I'm not going to put a number on it like I want to fight three or four times, I just want to fight the best guys and I want to get my fights signed. You can always be training for a fight, make some headway, become the true number one contender in 2013. Whether I get my title shot or not, I want to go on a roll and stay busy and really be involved in the sport and be in front of the fans fighting as much as possible. Unrelated, my unrelated goal is I want to be focused on this and that way I'm not doing other things in my life, other businesses and stuff like that, I just want to be fighting and training that way I can have all the spare time I want to just spend with my family. I want to enjoy life a little bit more and just more in the routine of training every week and always training for fights and then taking every opportunity to be, when I'm not fighting, to just relax with my family, take some trips around and just enjoy life a little bit more.
To read more about Belcher and his upcoming rematch with Yushin Okami at UFC 155 be sure to hit up or complete fighter archive right here.