"UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou" has its first two fights.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for middleweights Alan Belcher (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) vs. Jason MacDonald (25-14 MMA, 6-6 UFC) and middleweights Court McGee (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Dongi Yang (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC Fight Night 25 takes place Sept. 17 in New Orleans, and the night's main card airs on Spike TV.
The placement of Belcher vs. MacDonald and McGee vs. Yang on the card isn't currently known.
Belcher was scheduled for a UFC Fight Night 22 bout with Demian Maia this past September. But he started to lose vision in his right eye a few months before the event. After consulting with physicians and learning he had a detached retina, the injury forced the 26-year-old to not only withdraw from the fight but also face the possibility of watching his career come to an abrupt end. Belcher has endured painful surgeries and stressful rehabilitation, but his vision is "pretty much 20/20" now.
A native of nearby Biloxi, Miss., Belcher recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
) he hoped to be on the New Orleans card. He makes his long-awaited UFC return on the heels of a 4-1 run in the organization. The lone loss came via close split decision to Yoshihiro Akiyama, and the victories resulted in three of the UFC's fight-night bonuses.
MacDonald recently salvaged his latest UFC stint with a first-round submission victory over Ryan Jensen at UFC 129. While previously cut from the UFC after a 1-3 skid, the veteran Canadian middleweight now is 4-1 in his past five fights.
McGee, meanwhile, fights for the first time since an October submission win over Jensen. Coupled with a UFC-debut victory over Kris McCray that won him "The Ultimate Fighter 11," the Californian now has won seven straight fights.
Yang, a South Korean fighter, signed with the UFC after posting a 9-0 record in Asia. He recently rebounded from a UFC-debut split-decision loss to Chris Camozzi with a second-round TKO of Rob Kimmons in March.
The UFC hasn't held an event in Louisiana since UFC 37 in May 2002. That event took place in Bossier City. The UFC's most recent event in New Orleans was UFC 27, which took place in September 2000.