UFC welterweight fighter Thiago “Pitbull” Alves was recently forced to consider the scenario of abandoning the weight class that he calls home in favor of a higher division. Alves did not make weight in his last Octagon appearance against former opponent Jon Fitch and, this being the second time he did not make weight and having tested positive for illegal diuretics in the past, “Pitbull” proved that making weight was an issue for him. UFC President Dana White stepped in, informing fans and media that he was tired of Alves missing weight and was considering mandating a trip up to the middleweight class for Alves. Fearing how he would fare against the much larger competition at 185 pounds, Alves pleaded White for a second chance and, according to a recent interview conducted by MMAFighting.com, Alves has been granted that wish and will have only one shot at proving his viability as a welterweight.
“After all the bull— I’ve been through, I’ve finally had some time to breathe,” Alves told MMAFighting of the dust finally settling from his UFC 117 slip up. “I had a chance to look back at the situation. I know I have things to correct. I’m not done yet. I needed to go through those things to reveal myself as a stronger person. I won’t let them bring me down.”
Alves weighed in at only a half-pound over the welterweight non-title fight limit of 171 pounds. Rather than use the extra time alloted by the athletic commission, Alves chose to forfeit a percentage of his purse in order to avoid cutting any more weight. “Pitbull” explained the situation to MMAFighting, and said that the $12,000 deduction from his $60,000 payday was worth it in order to maintain focus on the fight.
“It was just a half-pound, so I’m sure my body could have flushed it out,” he said. “But I didn’t want to. I just wanted to concentrate on the fight. It was just easier for me to give up the money. Yes, we fight for money, but you also fight to win, and at the time, I was thinking I didn’t want to cut the weight. I was just focused on getting ready to fight. When you’re cutting weight and dehydrated, you don’t always think right. In the future, that won’t happen again. It can’t happen again.”
The American Top Team-trained fighter also revealed how he convinced the notoriously stubborn White to grant him another shot at welterweight.
“Dana said, ‘You’ve got to make weight, otherwise we’ve got to move you to 185,'” Alves said. “I told him, ‘Just please give me another chance. I won’t mess up again.’ I didn’t make excuses. I told him I thought I was there but I wasn’t. I took full responsibility. It’s not my coach or my camp, it’s me. I just asked for another chance, and he said OK. But I know this is my last chance.”
Alves ended the interview by expressing gratitude for those who have stuck by him during this trial and expressed an enthusiasm for future competition that, coupled with hiring nutritionist and lifestyle guru Mike Dolce, should ensure “Pitbull” makes the weight from now on.
“I’m just glad this nightmare is over and I just want to fight again,” said Alves. “Whoever they put in front of me, I’m happy to fight. I appreciate the support I’ve gotten. When things like this happen, you see people’s true colors. I don’t care about the people who’ve turned their backs on me. I just focus on the ones who appreciate me. That’s what’s important to me and I won’t let them down. I’m going to take this thing to the next level. I’m going to make it happen. I know what I’ve been through and I see things clearly now. Nothing’s holding me back.”