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Thiago Alves Puts Welterweight Division On Notice

UFC welterweight fighter Thiago “Pitbull” Alves experienced a return to form earlier this month at UFC 124: St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 when he dominated the very tough John Howard over three rounds in route to a well-deserved unanimous decision win. Speaking during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio, Alves explained that his 170-pound peers should come to expect from him the sort of performance that he put on against Howard and that he is coming for the title no matter who he has to go through.

“I just want to fight whoever’s going to bring me closer to the belt again,” Alves said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. Nothing changed as far as my goals, I want to be the welterweight champion. Whoever’s going to bring me closer, I’m ready for it.”

“Pitbull” had indicated previously that he is very interested at the prospect of taking on Octagon newcomer and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields, but with Shields promised the next title shot against welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, it appears unlikely that Alves will see his wish granted. It doesn’t seem to matter too much to the Brazilian Muay Thai specialist however, as he is simply interested in climbing back to the top of the welterweight division.

Alves’ vintage win over Howard followed two disappointing losses to St. Pierre and Jon Fitch, but the American Top Team member pledged that his recent resurgence is a lasting one.

“It doesn’t matter who it is, I’ll be ready for it,” said Alves. “Welterweight division, watch out, I’m back.”

Who would you like to see Alves against next? How do you think he stacks up amongst the current crop of welterweight contenders, considering that Shields and BJ Penn have recently been thrown into the mix? Sound off in the comments section.