Alan Belcher might want to consider changing his nickname from "The Talent" to "The Opportunist."
After all, the only reason anyone gives a shit about him is because he's fighting Michael Bisping. That's according to "The Count," who told reporters during yesterday's UFC 159 media conference call (get it here) that Belcher went from mid-card to co-main event thanks to the Brit's limelight.
"Alan Belcher, he's trying to take a page out of my book or he's trying to be Chael Sonnen. He's being someone very, very different for this fight. I'm not quite sure I understand it. He's trying to be all vocal, making video blogs and doing this and that, and he's trying to convince himself he's going to win the fight. The reality of the situation is that his last fight he lost against Yushin Okami. Prior to that he was on a four-fight win streak. Now he's coming off a loss and he's co-main event. When he fought Yushin Okami he was a mid-card fighter, but now he's fighting me and he's co-main event. So, he's trying to make the most out of the limelight. I commend him for that, because after this fight no one's going to give a shit about him. No one's going to watch him. No one's going to watch his stupid jiu-jitsu videos or go to his cocky little gym in the middle of nowhere. Good for him, he's making the most out of a good situation."
Their middleweight scrap, which goes down this Saturday night (April 27, 2013) at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., will likely eliminate one of these contender from the 185-pound title hunt for the foreseeable future. Both have suffered high-profile losses to former division number one contenders (Bisping to Vitor Belfort and Belcher to Yushin Okami) and it's sink or swim.
But is this a two-way street?
The former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner -- and eventual coach -- has enjoyed the spotlight for most of his career, but getting put down by Johnny Cash's number one fan could spell the end of Bisping's relevancy. Quite simply, there might be little reason to give a shit about him, either.
That's what makes this such a high-stakes match-up and one that hopefully brings out the best in both competitors.
Fight of the Night?