Can Canadian mixed martial arts star and pioneer Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald continue to impress vs. Alan Belcher this Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 25?
In his own words, Jason MacDonald saved his job with a comeback victory this past April in Toronto against Ryan Jensen, and this weekend he will step up to a bigger challenge in Alan "The Talent" Belcher.
MacDonald is a ground wizard and will look to welcome Belcher back to the UFC with a good ole fashioned lesson on the ground. Belcher is coming off of 14-months of recovery from surgery for a detached retina and will look to punish MacDonald in a stand up tilt.
Classic matchup of a grappler vs a striker and MacDonald will have to get this down quickly before Belcher gains any rhythm in his return. 14-months is a long layoff and I think MacDonald will look to come out in a submission blitz to get a win before his foe can shake any type of ring rust he may feel.
Submissions grow tougher as the fight goes on with slippery sweat becoming an issue and the further this one goes, I like Belcher's chances for a decision.
In an odd coincidence, Belcher's last fight over a year ago was also against a Canadian in veteran striker Patrick Cote, and this will be the fifth Canadian fighter he has faced in his last eight fights. I'm beginning to not like Mr. Belcher very much. Pick on another country will you.
MacDonald will continue to impress in this fight with Belcher, as I see him bringing us back to his earlier days in the UFC when he had great victories over Ed Herman, Chris Leben and Rory Singer. He was quick, precise and dominant in those fights before some tough losses and the major injury stalled his time in the UFC.
I hope to see that "Athlete" on Saturday night.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA and (also a Correspondent for MMACanada.net)