Alan Belcher was proudly a jack-of-all-trades during his mixed martial arts career, but he actually entertained a crossover fight in boxing right after joining the UFC roster.
The 38-year-old veteran was already one of MMA’s hottest prospects when he signed with the UFC in 2006, but with an amateur boxing background he received an intriguing offer to make his professional debut as part of a a card promoted in his house. State of Mississippi.
At the time, Belcher thought it was a great opportunity to test himself in another sport. However, it didn’t take long for his request to be denied by the UFC.
“I started amateur boxing when I was 14,” Belcher told MMA Fighting. “I did a good bit of amateur boxing, I did Toughman [competitions], and I have never been beaten in boxing. I was going to make my debut shortly after I entered the UFC in 2006, at age 22.
“Roy Jones Jr. was doing one of his comebacks at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and he asked me – I was a new young UFC fighter who had just come on TV – he asked me to co -headline his card there with him to attract the local crowd. I would have debuted there but the UFC shut that down. Dana White thought that was a dumb idea, so there was my boxing career or whatever else I really wanted to do.
As Belcher went on to spend the next seven years on the UFC roster, he was disappointed to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this because the promotion wouldn’t allow him the freedom to pursue another interest.
After retiring in 2015, Belcher made his return to combat sports six years later after signing a deal to join the roster at BKFC where he currently boasts a perfect 2-0 record.
With his next fight booked against Frank Tate on June 11 in a potential No. 1 contender at heavyweight, Belcher couldn’t be much happier with how his career is going. Looking ahead, he is happy to work with a promoter who will allow him to chase titles with his bare hands and maybe also get a boxing match in the future.
“That’s part of my main motivation now,” Belcher said. “Doing the things I want to do. Now I’m becoming a boxer. I’m quickly becoming the best bare-knuckle boxer in the world.
“When I first spoke with [BKFC President David] Feldman, speaking of coming back, I was like maybe I’ll do that for a bit and get back into wrestling and maybe do MMA. As I got involved, especially after that first fight, it dawned on me that if you want to be world champion, you have to focus on that. So Feldman is cool with me boxing and professional boxing because it makes me a better bare-knuckle boxer because I’m progressing up there. I like having freedom. I’m also disciplined and all I do is be the heavyweight bare knuckle boxing champion of the world.
Coming off a decisive win on his BKFC debut, Belcher scored an emphatic knockout in his second fight and he expects that to be how things will continue on June 11 and beyond.
He is becoming more and more comfortable as a bare-knuckle fighter and that will only bring bad news to his opponents.
Although he definitely plans to pursue a boxing match in 2023, Belcher won’t put the gloves back on until he wins the BKFC heavyweight title.
“I knew I was going to get the knockout because I could feel my skill level going up from the first fight,” Belcher said. “A month or two later, I saw myself continuing to climb and progress. I was 37 at the time and I have never felt so strong, so smooth, so smooth, so precise. I’m going to knock everyone out from now on.