The UFC announced today that UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher‘s first fight back from a career-threatening eye injury will be against New Glasgow, Nova Scotia native Jason MacDonald in the Biloxi, Mississippi native’s backyard of New Orleans, Louisiana on September 17. The event is aptly named UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou.
4-1 in his last 5 outings including wins over Wilson Gouveia, Patrick Cote, Denis Kang and Ed Herman and a questionable split decision loss to Yoshihiro Akiyama, Belcher (16-6) was mentioned as a potential championship contender before a detached retina sidelined him for almost a year. Although MacDonald (25-15) is by no means a cake walk fight for Belcher, it’s likely that the bout with the recently re-signed Canadian is thought of by the UFC brass as more of a tune-up fight for “The Talent.”
Following a disappointing 0-2 finish to his last UFC stint in as many fights his last time around in the promotion, MacDonald, like Belcher is now also 4-1 in his last outings. The difference between both fighter’s similar recent records is the level of competition they faced. MacDonald’s wins came against UFC cast-offs Matt Horwich, Solomon Hutcherson and Vernon White. After a horrific leg break cost him his last fight early in the first round of his UFC return bout at UFC 113 last May, MacDonald rebounded in his next fight to finish Ryan Jensen by triangle choke at UFC 129 in Toronto in April. Jensen, who was 2-4 in the Octagon was let go as a result of the loss.
The promotion also announced today that TUF 11 winner Court McGee will also take on Dong Yi Yang on the card.
McGee (13-1) hasn’t fought since defeating Jensen (again by triangle choke) at UFC 121 in October because of an MCL tear that forced him out of a planned UFC 131 bout with Jesse Bongfeldt. He’ll have a tough customer to deal with in Yang (10-1), who is 1-1 in the Octagon after rebounding from a loss against Chris Camozzi at UFC 121 with an impressive TKO win over Rob Kimmons at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann this past March.
The UFC did not mention whether or not the Belcher-MacDonald fight would act as the night’s main event or whether or not NOLA native Pat Barry will be on the card, but there’s a good possibility of both being announced in the coming weeks.