On July 11, UFC 100 will commence at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, marking the dramatic reign gained by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. With a stacked card, this event will sum up the success of the organization in one event, one night.
The same can be said for Thiago Alves.
Alves' path in mixed martial arts has been bountiful with success. With a favorable outcome, UFC 100 will mark the verification of Alves as one of the greatest mixed martial artists on the planet, as he looks to continue his rise through the UFC welterweight division.
After transferring to American Top Team at the age of 19, Thiago “Pitbull” Alves has risen in drastic measure through the world of mixed martial arts to an opportunity at UFC gold.
Battling his way through smaller organizations, Alves finally gained a shot at the UFC. However, Alves' debut in the UFC displayed anything but signs of good things to come, as he lost to Spencer Fisher at Ultimate Fight Night 2.
Now several years have passed as Alves has rebounded from his dismal display against Fisher to a point in his career he has never reached before, after destroying almost everyone the UFC was willing to throw at him.
After tearing through Karo Parysian, Alves destroyed Matt Hughes with a flying knee and then turned his sights on the man in the way of his title shot, Josh Koscheck. Koscheck, like Hughes and Parysian, proved no match for the Brazilian, as Alves won his shot against Georges St-Pierre after beating Koscheck via Unanimous Decision.
Alves now finds himself on the high end of the UFC welterweight ladder, with St-Pierre merely one rung loftier. The result of this divisional rank is a championship bout between the two welterweight beasts at UFC 100.
Alves is now set to challenge the UFC welterweight champion St-Pierre at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 11, which features an absolutely stacked card for the fans to enjoy.
However, this is not just another fight on a stellar card for “The Pitbull.” This is an opportunity unlike any other presented in his short, yet successful career—an opportunity he credits to his time spent at American Top Team.
“I have the best camp in the world, with the best coaches, the best training partners,” stated Alves. “Everything that I do inside of the octagon is what they taught me. They just tell me what to do, and I get it done. It’s a lot easier when you have that much support behind you.”
Through his last several fights, Alves has displayed the effects a lengthy tenure at American Top Team has to offer.
Alves entered American Top Team with an advanced specialization in the art of Muay Thai, unlike most of his teammates, who entered with Brazilian jiu-jitsu backgrounds.
Although this Brazilian may not have entered knowing much about the art, his jiu-jitsu has reached a high level in his short time in Coconut Creek, Florida.
“I’m really comfortable on the ground in any position. I have been training with those guys, the best jiu-jitsu guys in the world, for the last six, seven years,” explained Alves. “I’m really comfortable on the ground. No problem at all.”
With ever-improving jiu-jitsu and devastating Muay Thai, Alves may have the weapons to dethrone St-Pierre. However, neither of these two arts sets him apart from the champion the way his undeniable strength does.
After easily handling a fighter noted for his strength in Hughes by avoiding takedowns and dictating the entire fight, the fact became clear: Thiago Alves is the strongest welterweight in the UFC. This strength is perhaps the most distinct advantage Alves holds over the champion, who has become a phenomenal wrestler and takedown machine.
“My takedown defense has been getting better and better because I have been training a lot of wrestling,” stated Alves. “St-Pierre taking me down, he’s going to have a hard time. And if he does, I’m going to get right back up again.”
Compounding the Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and superior strength Alves can claim, the Brazilian is having trouble finding an area where his Canadian opponent holds the advantage.
“I don’t think he has an advantage in anything,” remarked Alves. “The only thing he has is the belt, and I’m going to take it away from him.”
With clear intentions for July 11, Alves has displayed the mentality of a great fighter, featuring unending self-assurance. Some may call it cocky; some may call it arrogant. The only certain thing is that Alves is extremely confident in his ability to destroy his opponents.
While he is facing his toughest opponent yet, Alves’ confidence in his ability remains at a heightened state.
“Georges St-Pierre, he’s the champion,” stated Alves. “I think it’s going to be one of my best fights ever. He’s a great champion, complete in everything pretty much. But I’m willing to take his belt.”
Just how will Alves take away the welterweight belt from St-Pierre? “The Pitbull” is confident the fight will not call for five rounds, as he believes his opponent will enter into the eerie state of unconsciousness, or someplace extremely close.
“I’m going to knock him out,” explained the confident Alves. “I don’t know how. I don’t know what round. But I know I’m going to knock him out.”
A victory for Thiago Alves at UFC 100 would be the perfect culmination of all of his success wrapped into the single greatest victory of his career.
With his time at American Top Team, along with the fight résumé he has gained, Alves enters his first UFC title bout confident in his superiority as a fighter.
As UFC 100 marks the success of the organization’s short history, Alves believes it will do the same for him with his short career being summed up through the UFC welterweight belt wrapped fittingly around his waist.
With his stellar skill set, along with a guaranteed knockout at UFC 100, Alves has but one request of his fans.
“Please don’t blink. If you blink, you might miss something.”