Belcher made a major statement in stopping the crafty Pahares at UFC on FOX 3.
Crafty Middleweight Forces First Round Stoppage of Rousimar Palhares
Alan Belcher (17-5) wanted to make a statement to the rest of the UFC middleweight division at UFC on FOX 3 at the IZOD Center in New Jersey on Saturday, and he very successfully achieved that mission. Going against the brilliant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mind of Rousimar Palhares (23-4), Belcher beat his well crafted opponent at his own game, forcing the action to the ground early and claiming a first round stoppage due to strikes.
“I’ve been training my whole life for this, and I think this win puts me in the top of the division,” Belcher argued following the win. “I’m improving time after time, and I trained a lot of anti-jiu-jitsu positions in camp. And it was instinct to counter what he did on the ground. I saw him give up when they didn’t work. I could see it in his eyes, and I knew it was my time. I finally landed one big elbow that got through and knocked him out. This is the best I’ve ever felt in victory!”
At the post-card press conference, UFC President Dana White would not pinpoint exactly where the win placed Belcher, but he did confirm that he is certainly in the top five of the division as a result. Belcher was much more specific on where he wanted the victory to take him.
“I want to be the guy that takes the belt off of Anderson Silva because I know I’m the one that can do it,” he stated.
Palhares did secure the first takedown about 45 seconds into the bout, but Belcher was the one who was able to gain positioning on the canvas and began to work his own submission game. However, Palhares did what he is best known for and reclaimed ground control, quickly applying a trademark leg lock and knee bar attempt. In a surprising turn of events, Belcher reversed the position and garnered top control. He then started to unload a heavy dose of ground and pound, firing off a mixture of elbows with some hard left and right hooks until Palhares began covering up in an attempt to slow the assault. Belcher only turned up the tempo even more, though, and he continued dishing sweeping hooks from both hands until referee Dan Miragliotta finally stepped in and ended it.
“I expect everyone I fight in the UFC to be just as skilled on the ground as me, so it was no surprise that he could counter what I did,” Palhares remarked. “I was trying my best to utilize my game plan, but he hit me with one shot that dazed me, and I was unable to continue the way in which I needed to. I want to thank my fans for supporting me and have them know that I will be back very soon.”
The official time of the TKO stoppage was 4:18 of the first round, solidifying a highly impressive win for Belcher.