Paulo Thiago returned to winning ways when he beat Michel Prezeres this past May, snapping a two fight losing skid and likely saving his UFC career. Prezeres was a late replacement for Kelvin Gastelum, who was injured, and Thiago was able to score a decision victory.
Things don’t look to be getting much easier for Thiago, who draws red hot prospect Brandon Thatch at Ultimate Fight Night 32: Belfort vs. Henderson. Thatch recently debuted against Justin Edwards, scoring a quick first round knockout. The Denver native now sports a 10-1 record with all 10 wins coming by some form of finish.
Thiago started his UFC career in similar fashion, he came to the organization with a 10-0 record and knocked out Josh Koscheck in his debut. Since then Thiago has amassed a less than stellar 5-5 UFC record, dropping decision losses to Dong Hyun Kim, Diego Sanchez, Martin Kampmann, Jon Fitch and getting one shotted by Sayir Bahadurzada.
One could argue that Thatch doesn’t really hold any weight on his record, the percentage of his wins (and sole loss) coming on the regional circuit. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the 32 year old Thiago is certainly at a fork in the road of his career.
A loss against the 28 year old Thatch might signal the end of a career for Thiago, and the start of a much bigger journey for Thatch. It seems like the new talent is starting to flood the UFC’s ranks, and we are seeing the older stars fade away.
Can Thiago prove he still has what it takes against the lethal striker Thatch? Tune in November 9th in Brazil to find out.