It's just not that time, Thiago.
I mean, I'll be honest, I usually do like Muay Thai strikers such as Thiago Alves in fights against wrestlers, but in his fight against Jon Fitch is where I have to make the exception.
Especially after the weigh-ins and with what was on the line for both men coming into this fight, how do you not back Fitch?
You can call his style of fighting "lay and pray", but I would call it "methodical dismemberment."
He slowly takes an opponent apart after he takes them down to the ground, neutralizing any attempts at a solid offense.
Fitch is also skilled in a very unique style of Jiu-Jitsu called Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu, a stylistic blend of both Judo and BJJ techniques innovated by Dave Camarillo.
This makes Fitch as aggressive, if not more aggressive on the ground than your average BJJ black belt, so even if it was Alves who got Fitch on the ground and started working his own Jiu-Jitsu, Fitch could still be a threat to Pitbull on the ground.
That upkick wasn't necessarily a light tap when Fitch threw it in their first bout either, so Alves may want to be careful about handling Fitch when he's standing and looking down at his nemesis.
Thiago's obvious strong area — the standup game — is really his only option against Fitch and he's going to have to put Fitch away quick in order to have any chance of victory against "the best Jon Fitch that ever lived".
If he doesn't do it, Fitch will grab a hold of him and take him down.
He may not get the finish on Alves, but I definitely don't think that Fitch just lays on top of Alves for fifteen minutes.
For all we know, Alves could be elbowed or GNPed for about fifteen seconds before the fight gets stopped.
Not to discredit Alves, because the man has been out of action for a little over a year now, and even with the weigh ins showing him to be a pound and a half over, he may not be very rusty.
Alves could still be a well-oiled machine when he comes in to fight Fitch tonight, but my opinion stands.
Alves is an efficient machine, but against Fitch, he won't be efficient enough.
Prediction: Fitch wins again, either by TKO or Unanimous Decision
For those who believe that "Pitbull" will be back and in top form tonight, please have a look at Colton Whittemore's view of the fight.