UFC welterweight Thiago Alves has decided not to return to action until June 2013 after having chest surgery.
According to a report from website Buddhasport, the hard-hitting Alves (19-9 overall, 11-6 UFC) recently decided to wait until next June after doctors repaired a torn pectoral muscle in June. The delay seems related not to the surgery recovery itself, but a desire to heal on a more holistic scale. Alves said in a statement:
"Following my chest surgery, my management and myself have decided to take this year off to fix my left knee as well as all my other little injuries to come back stronger than ever in 2013 to make another run for the title and get it this time. I should be back by June 2013."
Alves, 29, pulled out of a promising fight with young prospect Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC 149 after sustaining the chest injury. Along with the torn pectoral muscle and other nagging injuries, Alves has had a checkered recent past in the UFC. He has lost four of his last six, and has had a hard time cutting to the division's 170-pound weight limit.
Most recently, he lost to Martin Kampmann by guillotine choke in the third round of their March 3 main event. It was Alves' only fight of 2012.