Alan Belcher (Pictured) entered Saturday’s bout against Rousimar Palhares as more than a 2-to-1 underdog, but his upset victory over the submission specialist wasn’t what surprised UFC president Dana White. It was the fashion in which the underrated middleweight did it.
Once the leg-lock specialist grabbed a hold of Belcher’s limb in the opening round of their scrap, nearly everyone inside IZOD Center in New Jersey knew it was a wrap. Unfortunately for Palhares, it was.
After managing to escape two different submission attempts, Belcher opted to keep the fight on the ground – much to the surprise of White.
“I knew for a fact when that fight went to the ground, it was over, meaning the other way,” White expressed at the post-fight press conference. “I thought [Belcher] was going to get submitted, especially when he was in that kneebar deep.
“Not only did he pull out of it, but when he stayed in [Palhares’] guard, I was like, ‘What is he doing? Why is he staying in his guard?'”
Belcher later admitted he freestyled the finish, as his ground attack wasn’t exactly part of the master plan. Nonetheless, “The Talent” unleashed some impromptu ground-and-pound to secure his fourth consecutive win.
“My gameplan was to stay out of a grappling situation, just to be totally safe,” he said. “I dreamed about it a little bit, about submitting him, and shocking everyone like that. But that was just a dream.”
I guess Belcher will simply have to settle for the reality of a vicious TKO victory instead.