Perhaps the roller coaster of events that transpired prior to the long awaited welterweight rematch between Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves was a sign something was rotten in the state of Denmark.
After multiple postponements and an emergency brain surgery for Alves, which was accompanied by a cautious recovery period, it appeared UFC 117 was finally going to be showtime. Although the pair took the Octagon stage on Saturday night, the spotlight wasn’t shinning quite as brightly after a certain 171.5-pounder was forced to tip the scales the day prior.
“That’s very nice of Fitch to say, but everybody else made weight. It wasn’t the scale, he didn’t come in on weight,” an agitated White stated. “[Thiago and I] were just texting a few minutes ago before I came in. He said, ‘I’m sorry about that, I’ll come back stronger.’ I said, ‘Yeah, at 185 you will.’ He said, ‘No, I want to fight at 170.’”
Although White stopped just shy of saying he would force Alves to compete at middleweight, he offered up plenty of valid reasons as to why he should. Oddly, they had nothing to do with his 2007 suspension for taking a diuretic to help him lose excess pounds or weighing-in at an astonishing three pounds over the limit for his UFC 85 contest against Matt Hughes in June 2008.
“He looked lethargic, he looked slow. He doesn’t belong at 170. He belongs at 185 pounds,” White expressed. “That’s where I’d like to see him, at 85.”