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‘The Talent’ rises in world of Mixed Martial Arts

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When he was 14, Alan Belcher of Biloxi set a goal to become the best pound-for-pound Mixed Martial Arts fighter in the world.

Fast forward 10 years, and that goal is getting closer.

He is now a driving force in the 185-pound class as the No. 14-rated fighter in the world.

“I know I have what it takes physically to win a championship,’’ Belcher said. “I know it takes time and I’m developing mentally. My time as a fighter will be complete when I have the title at 185 and 205 and be considered in the Top 5, pound-for-pound, in Mixed Martial Arts.

‘‘But to do that, you can never be satisfied. I am never satisfied.’’

Belcher has acquired a nickname — “The Talent.’’

Fitted with a passion for cross training, boxing, kick boxing, judo and Jujitsu, Belcher has already landed a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, an organization that features the top 200 fighters in the world.

Fighting for the UFC, Belcher earns checks totaling more than $10,000. More importantly, he’s on track for the ever-elusive world title.

“I started traditional martial arts training at 8 years old,’’ Belcher said. “I had my first real Mixed Martial Arts fight at age 14, where I defeated a man in his late 20s into submission.

“Martial Arts taught me a serious work ethic and I outworked everybody all the way to college. I received a baseball scholarship at a nearby college in Tennessee and I put fighting on the back burner. But after two semesters, I was itching to compete again. So I quit college and began my real journey.’’

Along the way, Belcher met a young lady named Ashlee Jordan after a kick-boxing fight in Gulfport. Belcher moved to Biloxi after he and Ashlee were married.

Since then, Belcher opened his own gym in D’Iberville and Ocean Springs — Remix MMA — while striving toward his dream of a world championship.

“My next move was to Biloxi to be with Ashlee and train with Rich Clementi and Team Voodoo in Slidell,’’ Belcher said. “I won seven straight fights against top opponents, earning a spot on the UFC 62 card in 2006. I lost an exciting fight against top contender Yushin Okami, but the UFC decided to keep me around for a second. With that second opportunity. I secured my full-time position in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.’’

That fight, in the mind of Belcher, turned the heat up in his quest for a title.

The fight also proved Belcher’s dream was turning into reality. To achieve that dream, Belcher begins his day at a speed school at E Fitness in Biloxi before ending the day with two hours of training at his own gym,

All, as he puts it, for the price of standing in the middle of the ring and raising a title belt.

“I want to break into the Top 10 this year,’’ Belcher said, “which would be good considering there are hundreds of guys fighting in my weight class.

“I do not want anything to come easy, I want to earn it. Everything in my life I’ve worked hard for. When I win a championship, I don’t know if I will be satisfied, But that is what I am training for.’’

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