Widely regarded as one of the best welterweights in the world, Thiago Alves hit a rough patch that belied his tremendous talent that started when he fought Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title back at UFC 100. Alves was out-wrestled to a unanimous decision loss and would lose again in the same manner his next fight out, against Jon Fitch. He managed to pick up a victory over John Howard – who is no longer with the UFC – but was stalled once again when he faced up-and-comer Rick Story, losing another unanimous decision.
Last night at UFC 138, Alves got back in the win column with a first round dismantling of dangerous UFC newcomer Papy Abedi. The 28-year-old was emotional in victory, overwhelmingly happy to pick up a win amidst a down streak.
“I’ve been through some tough spots, but that’s just life, the way it happens,” Alves said at the post-fight presser. “This fight was very special for me because I put in a lot of work and opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’m very happy. I’m very prepared for whatever comes next.”
A veteran of close to thirty fights, Alves explained that he’s learned how to take the good with the bad and that he’s rekindled his fire for competition; calm and focused, the matured Brazilian is ready for whatever comes next.
“I think the more time you spend in this sport, you find more ways to get motivated some way, somehow,” he said. “You stop thinking about the bad stuff. It’s just life. Sometimes you have to go through stuff to get better. That’s where I think I am right now. I came through all of it, and I’m ready. I’m very excited. Bring it on.”
UFC 138: Leben vs. Muñoz went down last night from the LG Arena in Birmingham, England; Alves won via first-round submission.