UFC 130: Breaking Down the Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story Match

Joe M.Correspondent IMay 26, 2011

Yes, before I begin, I am new to the MMA section, and this is actually my first article outside of the wrestling section of Bleacher Report.  I have been following UFC for a long time, though, I like to think I know what I'm talking about.

UFC 130 is taking place this Saturday at the MGM Grand Arena, and while the card features from matches that definitely look good.  Rampage vs. Hamill, although not the original main event, "stepped up", if you will, when Maynard and Edgar both sustained injuries that would keep them away from the octagon (that match is now rumored to be happening at UFC 135 in September).  Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson has since become the second main event.  But read the title here, it's not about Rampage or Hamill or Mir or Nelson.  It's about Rick Story and Thiago Alves and their Welterweight fight at UFC 130 this Saturday.

Rick Story is a wrestler.  Sure, he's improved in other areas and his TKO at UFC 117 is proof of that, but the vast majority of his wins can be attributed to his strong wrestling.  He's somewhat well-rounded, but there is no question as to what his strong suit really is, and that's wrestling.

Thiago Alves is all Muay Thai.  His strikes are absolutely devastating, but there isn't a whole lot more to him.  That's not a bad thing, though.  While being well-rounded gives any fighter an advantage, having one extremely, extremely strong suit can also help immensely.  Thiago thrives on his feet; when he's on the ground, not so much.

In the end, though I see Story defeating Alves, because, in all reality, if he finds one opening and takes Thiago down, then he has then neutralized Alves and taken control.  I'm not putting my money on Alves tapping out, but it comes down to Story withstanding Alves' strikes, and with five consecutive wins under his belt, Story has shown he can take a beating.  I'm not putting my money on Thiago tapping out or Story getting the KO, so Rick will have to endure three rounds, though.

It's going against the general consensus, as most think Thaigo will get the win here, but I'm going with Rock Story defeating Alves via unanimous decision after all three rounds, extending his streak to six consecutive wins.  He doesn't have to dominate Thiago, but just stay in control throughout most of the match, which can be done if he gets past the strikes and is able to take Alves down.