April 4, 2007 Edition

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Belcher to fight on pay-per-view

Gretchen Hunt

As Imboden native Alan Belcher nears his 23rd birthday, he is marking an important milestone in his career, as well. Belcher will fight in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) 69 pay-per-view event Saturday.

A 2002 graduate of Sloan-Hendrix High School, Belcher has been developing a career as a professional martial arts fighter and instructor.

With a 9-2 record, Belcher, who goes by the nickname "The Talent," will fight Kendall "Da Spyder" Grove during the pay-per-view.

On his fighter page on UFC.com, Belcher said, "I think this fight is perfect for me, and I couldn't be happier with the matchup."

Belcher, 6'2", 185 pounds, said fighting in the UFC is a lifetime dream come true. He began studying martial arts at 10 years of age and has always been competitive in some type of athletics be it martial arts or baseball and basketball, which he played at SHHS.

UFC 69 will be held in Houston, Texas, and Belcher is expected to have a lot of supporters tuning in from the Northeast Arkansas area, according to his mother, Bobbie Belcher of Imboden.

"A lot of his friends are planning to have Alan Belcher parties," she said. "It's really exciting."

Belcher is also the son of John Belcher, also of Imboden. He is the grandson of Evelyn Martin of Ravenden.

In addition to fighting, Belcher owns a martial arts school, No Limits Martial Arts, in Biloxi, Miss.

His ranks and titles include EFL light heavyweight champion and blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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