There are arguably two welterweights that stand in front of him for a shot Georges St-Pierre’s title, however Thiago Alves would like another shot at UFC gold. The slugger claims to have grown from his humbling title loss to GSP at UFC 100 this past July, and he wants a mulligan.
“When you fight a guy like Georges St-Pierre, you have to think that he is good,” Alves said. “He’s the best fighter out there, in my opinion, but before the fight you have this respect because you don’t know what to expect until you are in there. Then, once he gets going, it is hard to catch up to him.”
Alves, like many others, was dominated by St-Pierre’s superior overall MMA game. And he’s right, GSP is one of the game’s best front-runners, so once he is able to find his rhythm, he’s very difficult to tame, specifically in the championship rounds.
“That’s why everyone who fights him says, ‘Now I know what it takes to beat him.’ I have seen what it takes,” Alves added. “I saw all the ghosts that appear when you fight for a title. People can say a lot of things to you like, ‘Don’t worry, you’re going to be fine,’ but when you step in there, you see it’s a whole different ballgame because you are fighting against the champion and you’re trying to take his belt away. You know he isn’t going to just give it to you. He’s the best fighter in the world and he has been there so many times.”
Heading into their highly anticipated matchup, most pundits believed Thiago had the best shot at jacking GSP’s strap. His combination of size, power and explosiveness was nothing the champion had ever seen, however the French-Canadian steamrolled him and remained the division’s “Anderson Silva.”
Although UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes defended his welterweight strap the most times, nine in all, it wasn’t against the kind of talent GSP is doing it against, nor was it as dominating. Alves too believes that GSP is the standard to which all future 170-pounders should be held, hoping one day it will be him leading the way.
“It made me gain so much more respect for him. He’s such a great champion, he’s such a great fighter that I want to beat him. I want to be better than him,” Alves said. “That’s what I want, to be like Georges St-Pierre but better. You always have to look up to the best, and he is the best in my weight division, so I want to be like him but better.”
It appears that Dan Hardy is getting next crack at a five-round affair with St-Pierre, but when asked if he would like another tango with the champ, Alves emphatically stated, “I would fight him again yesterday.”