Thiago Alves will face Laureano Staropoli in a welterweight scrap this weekend in the main card of UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Strangely enough, the longtime UFC veteran has yet to compete in Rio de Janeiro throughout his 36-fight career.
While the most important thing for Alves on Saturday (May 11, 2019) night is to put on a show for his fellow Brazilians, he is not underestimating his Argentinian counterpart.
“I know he is not experienced as me,” Alves told Combate. “This will be this biggest fight of his career, he’ll be ready for a war. I have been in his situation, I fought more experienced guys when I was younger, so I know what to expect. I want to get it done quickly. He’s a warrior, he’ll make things difficult, he fights well in both stances. He’s aggressive, young, but I’ll be ready for that. We’ll meet in the center and slug it out, one of us will go down first.”
Alves has been in the UFC for quite some time now. With a litany of injuries and accompanying surgeries, it’s a miracle the “Pitbull” is even fighting, let alone not even thinking about retirement.
“I don’t know (when I will retire), but I’m feeling pretty damn well. I’m 35 and still improving. I’m still learning and my body is well, so we’ll see how it goes. My focus right now is to win, then we see what’s next. I’ve been fighting since I’m 22, I know I’ll have to quit at some point. It’s stupid of me.
“Many fighters make that mistake when the time to stop comes and they don’t know what to do. Life goes on. Programming my life for after I’m done is a natural process. Once you hit this age, you must think about this. Many fighters retire and then think about coming back, not me. Once I’m done, I’m done. But I’m focused on a war now. I’m having too much fun to stop. I’m thrilled. But I know what I’m going to do when I retire.”