First fight in 16 months produces first round finish
Riding a wave of success up the ranks heading into a main event pairing with Demian Maia last September, Belcher was forced from the card and ultimately under the knife. Saturday night, he showed no rust and no hesitation inside the cage, coming out of the gate quickly and bringing the fight to MacDonald.
Knowing Belcher was the far superior striker, MacDonald brought the fight to the canvas by pulling guard, hoping to work his jiu-jitsu game. Unfortunately for the 36-year-old Canadian, it turned out to be the wrong decision.
Belcher powered his way out of MacDonald’s attempts to control his hands, postured up in his guard, and starting raining down hands. A punishing right hurt MacDonald, and while “The Athlete” tried to fight back and find a submission, Belcher simply shook free and continued to pour it on until MacDonald succumbed and verbally submitted.
The win is Belcher’s third straight inside the Octagon and immediately returns him to the up-and-comer position he inhabited prior to the injury.