Seemingly missing in action, former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves has seen better days throughout his lengthy MMA career.
“Pitbull” reached the height of his ascent when he challenged longtime former champion Georges St. Pierre for the belt at UFC 100, the promotion’s biggest pay-per-view ever.
Unfortunately, ever since that day, it’s been a rollercoaster ride full of bad breaks with only intermittent signs of light. He’s compiled a rather disappointing 2-3 record since UFC 100, losing to top talents like Jon Fitch, Martin Kampmann, and Rick Story, while his only wins have come against not-so-glorious names John Howard and Papy Abedi.
Alves was last seen at UFC on FX 2 way back in March 2012, losing to Kampmann by submission in a fight he was thoroughly dominating with his vaunted striking. But Alves strangely went for a late (and ill-advised) takedown that allowed “The Hitman” to lock on a fight-ending guillotine choke in the final round.
Alves was supposed to fight both Yoshihiro Akiyama and Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC 149 but was forced out due to injury. A year later, he was booked opposite a surging Matt Brown at UFC Fight Night 26 last August, but again had to withdraw with yet another injury.
It’s been a tumultuous and frustrating couple of years for the once-touted Alves.
There’s not much doubt he still has the power to give any 170-pound fighter fits; it’s only a matter of him being healthy at this point. Thankfully, it appears he is.
Alves will have a chance to get back on track against Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11 on April 19 from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
The fight was announced today and will add one more potentially exciting bout to a card that already features a pivotal heavyweight title eliminator between Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum, a women’s bantamweight co-main event of Miesha Tate vs. Liz Carmouche, and a lightweight firefight that features flashy strikers Donald Cerrone and Edson Barboza.
But there’s still more than two months left until UFC on FOX 11 takes place. Alves has to prove he can stay healthy up until that day; he’s proven that is far from guaranteed. Overall, “Pitbull” deserves a chance to right the ship and erase the bad taste of his loss to Kampmann.
At this point in time he may not be healthy enough to ever be an actual contender in the stacked UFC welterweight arena, but he has a shot to prove all his doubters wrong with one last run. That run begins in Orlando this April.