Alan Belcher is back.
The former UFC middleweight contender, who retired from active competition back in 2015, is returning to the ring but this time he’s doing to do it as a bare-knuckle brawler.
Belcher has signed a multi-fight deal with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship where he’s expected to compete in the heavyweight division.
“I love what BKFC is doing, the company is showing tremendous growth, their event production is first class and I expressed to Dave [Feldman] that I wanted to be part of it,” Belcher said in a statement. “Mentally and physically, I’m in the best shape of my life, a true world class athlete at the age of 37.”
BKFC president Dave Feldman was convinced that Belcher was serious about pursuing his new career after speaking to the UFC veteran, which then led to an agreement on a multi-fight deal.
“We’re very proud to announce our signing of Alan Belcher,” Feldman said. “Personally, I’ve been a fan of Alan’s since his early days in UFC and he’s been supportive of BKFC the last couple of years coming to our shows in Biloxi. He expressed interest in competing and we were able to make a deal that is beneficial to both of us.
“He’s in phenomenal shape after taking some off and fits right in with our very deep heavyweight division.”
Belcher hasn’t competed in the past eight years after calling it a career with the majority of his fights taking place in the UFC where he was perennial threat at 185 pounds.
Over the course of his career with the UFC, Belcher earned wins over fighters such as Ed Herman, Rousimar Palhares, Patrick Cote and Jason MacDonald. His last performance in the UFC came in 2013 when he suffered a loss to Michael Bisping after an accidental eye poke prevented him from finishing the fight.
Belcher is expected to make his BKFC debut in August when the promotion is scheduled to go to his hometown in Biloxi, Miss.