Good lord I'm dying to see this fight and only a small part has to do with the amount of Canadian pride that swells up inside me every time GSP demolishes another contender.
Mostly, it has to do with what an intriguing matchup this fight should be, pitting Alves' dangerous striking and solid takedown defense against MMA's most complete fighter.
Enough preamble, let's get to it.
Georges St-Pierre (18-2) vs. Thiago Alves (22-4)
Throw the "Which camp is better?" angle right out the window, as Jackson's MMA (along with Firas Zahabi) and American Top Team are the 1 and 1A of Mixed Martial Arts training camps today.
Stylistically, we could be in for some fireworks, as well as some awkward moments too. As both come from outstanding camps, there is very little chance that a flash knockout is going to occur; both will be dutifully prepared for the surprises the other may have planned.
The awkward moments may come from attempted and stuffed takedowns, as well as St-Pierre's outstanding footwork when dodging Alves' attacks.
I honestly believe the first round will be all about both fighters finding their range. From there on out, expect excitement as Alves looks for angles and St-Pierre looks for, well, everything, since he brings a full toolbox into every fight.
I spent a lot of time pouring over the common opponents a couple weeks back at Watch Kalib Run and I encourage you to read the article. The end result is that while GSP has better overall results—Jon Fitch beat Alves and we all know what GSP did to Fitch. I really believe Alves is a more complete and dangerous fighter now than he was against Fitch and he shouldn't be taken lightly.
Bottom line: this has all the makings of Fight of the Night, just as Henderson and Bisping before them does as well and probably more so than the Main Event of the evening.
Predictions come on Saturday.