Thiago Alves has suffered an injury that has forced him to withdraw from his UFC on Fox Sports 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen fight against Matt Brown.
Stepping in to replace "The Pitbull" is 37-year-old MMA veteran Mike Pyle.
Fox Sports 1's official Twitter account broke the news:
#BREAKING: @ThiagoAlvesATT is injured and won't fight on @foxsports1 in Boston on 8.17, NEW FIGHT at 170lbs @Mike_Pyle vs @IamTheImmortal
Pyle will enter the bout on a four-fight winning streak, and his well-rounded, aggressive skill set lends itself favorably to Brown's hyper-offensive style.
Still, a little zing is lost with this matchup, as fans across the globe have been awaiting the return of Alves to the Octagon. Alves has not competed since a March 2012 submission loss to Martin Kampmann at UFC on FX 2, and the August 17 bout against Brown would have provided a slugfest between two capable stand-and-bang fighters.
The news is disappointing for Brown, as a win over Alves would represent a more significant milestone than a win over Pyle.
With all respect to Pyle, Alves has previously challenged for the welterweight title, and his savage striking earned him a reputation as one of the division's most fearsome stand-up artists. The Pitbull has a name that fight fans recognize—a name that attracts.
To the casual fan, Pyle is just some dude with a mullet.
Making matters worse for Brown, Pyle is skilled, and his talents are underrated.
A four-fight winning streak is nothing to scoff at, and Pyle's crafty submission game accounts for 64 percent of his victories. He has also knocked out three of his last four opponents inside the Octagon.
Thanks to Pyle's recent surge, this is not entirely a lose-lose situation for Brown, but a dominant win over Pyle still would put him around the fringe top-10 area that Alves previously inhabited.
From a fan's perspective, though, this bout is phenomenal. This is another instance of the UFC making a short-notice fight that still offers intrigue and luster.
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