What's Next for Thiago Alves?

Nate DoubleAnalyst IJuly 12, 2009

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  (L-R) Georges St. Pierre battles Thiago Alves during their welterweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

On Saturday night, Thiago Alves became the latest in a growing list of fighters to be utterly dominated by welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre.

Alves, a gigantic 170 lb fighter that is rumored to walk around at more than 200 lbs couldn't get anything going against GSP.

Alves thought his fast powerful striking would end the fight with a KO.  Instead, GSP took him down at will and proved elusive when the fight was standing with GSP scoring more strikes than the feared muay-thai striker.

Alves, at just 25 years old already has an impressive list of wins over top fighters at welterweight.  However I wonder if the 30 lbs he cuts to make weight might become more detrimental both mentally and physically going forward.

Mentally, knowing that he needs to start slimming down weeks before his fight certainly impedes his training and adds worry about making the cut to list of things he needs to concern himself with. 

Physically cutting 30lbs is going to become more and more difficult as he ages.  Fighters often talk about the difficulty making big cuts as they get older. The cut can sap physical strength and stamina that are needed inside the cage.

By no means do I think Alves doesn't have a future at 170 but he'll need to build some semblance of an offensive ground game if he wants to succeed against the likes of GSP and Jon Fitch.

Both of those fighters can drag Alves into their world on the ground and focus entirely on their own offense since Alves presents very little danger from his back.

Physically he could be compared to Paulo Filho who is actually an inch shorter than Alves.  Granted Filho is a jiu-jitsu ace but he's found success at 185lbs.  Perhaps Alves will elect to avoid the massive weight cut and move up to middleweight.

Up there he'll face a whole new set of challenges since he'll be fighting against guys with significant height and reach advantages.

If he elects to stay put at 170 I'd be very interested in seeing a rematch between he and Jon Fitch.