The long road of recovery for Alan Belcher finally has a destination in sight after a detached retina sustained in training last summer threatened his permanent vision and nearly ended his run as a Mixed Martial Artist.

According to the UFC, Belcher will face Canadian grappler Jason MacDonald on September 17 in New Orleans as part of the UFC’s still-developing “Battle on the Bayou” event.

Belcher, a Gulf Coast resident who will almost certainly receive a hero’s welcome from the crowd, has been out of action for more than a year and last fought Patrick Cote at UFC 113. Months after the event, while preparing for a scheduled bout with Demian Maia, he started losing vision in his right eye and has been sidelined ever since. “The Talent” will enter his match-up with MacDonald having found success in four of his last five fights with the lone exception being an extremely close Split Decision against Yoshishiro Akiyama. He holds past wins over a number of his respected peers including Cote, Denis Kang, and Jorge Santiago.

His upcoming opponent, MacDonald, is no stranger to working his way back from a career-threatening injury after suffering a gruesome broken leg in a bout last May. The 35-year old tap-out artist only recently made his return to the Octagon albeit in victorious fashion with an opening round choke of Ryan Jensen at UFC 129. The performance improved MacDonald’s record to 25-14 and was the nineteenth submission of his career.