UFC 130 Results: Thiago Alves and 5 Fighters Who Should Avoid Fighting Wrestlers
Thiago "Pitbull" Alves is 10-5 inside the Octagon, and while the 27 year-old does has wins over formidable opponents like Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck, he has come up short in each of his losses, which were all to wrestlers.
He dropped a three-round decision to Rick Story (14-3) at UFC 130 and fell out of the top five in his weight class after he got out-wrestled and pressured by his tough opponent.
The fighters who were placed in front of him in the rankings include former opposition like current UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and Jon Fitch.
It's the wrestlers that usually dominate MMA, and there are many fighters who don't acknowledge it while not taking the necessary lessons to learning how to sprawl or counter.
The only thing they can do is avoid them, and these are five fighters who should.
No. 5: Cheick Kongo
French heavyweight Cheick Kongo has always had trouble with wrestlers, and he has never solved the problem of his bad takedown defense.
He made his UFC debut in 2006 and lost to Carmello Marello in his third UFC bout. Marello easily won the bout with his dominant wrestling and top control.
Jump to three years later in his bout with Cain Velasquez, and what's his weakest area? Takedown defense. Velasquez recovered from knockout blows to take Kongo down and made him look light as a feather, hoisting him above his head and slamming him to the ground.
Luckily for Kongo, his next bout is against former K1 kickboxer Pat Barry.
No. 4: Nate Diaz
Nate Diaz might have a better chance against wrestlers than most with his dangerous submission game, but all of his losses in the UFC have been after he was taken to the ground and controlled by his stronger opponent.
Gray Maynard, Clay Guida, Dong Hyun Kim, Joe Stevenson and Rory MacDonald all out-wrestled the Ultimate Fighter winner.
A move from the lightweight division to welterweight seemed to be the right choice at first, but there is no escape from wrestlers. They dominate most of the weight classes, and it's hard to make it anywhere if a fighter doesn't have solid takedown defense or offense from the bottom.
No. 3: Thiago Alves
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Former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago "Pitbull" Alves is one of the best strikers in the UFC, but it doesn't help him when he is on the mat.
Against the UFC elite, such as Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch and Rick Story, Alves was taken down by each of them, losing decisive decisions to each. It's his standup that makes his opponent push for the takedowns so hard, and it's something he has to spend most of the fight doing.
He has had some success against other wrestlers like Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck, but his biggest bouts have all been determined by his opponent's wrestling ability.
No. 2: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira may have the toughest three-fight stretch against wrestlers than any other fighter. He went 1-2 in his last three fights against Phil Davis, Ryan Bader and Jason Brilz.
He defeated Brilz by a controversial split-decision, but the game plan had been laid out on how to defeat the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
Bader and Davis both followed and took Nogueira down in each of their bouts. They won unanimous decisions in both.
"Minotauro" will get a break in his next fight against former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, but that's no easy opponent and one he will have just as much trouble in. At least it won't be in the wrestling department.
No. 1: Dan Hardy
Dan hardy is currently on a three-fight losing streak against Carlos Condit, Georges St. Pierre and Anthony Johnson.
In two of the bouts, the British fighter was dominated on the ground, losing decisions in both of his bouts with St. Pierre and Johnson.
If Hardy has any intentions of making another run at the title, he will need to reconsider how he goes about his seemingly non-existent takedown defense.
In a division with other wrestling-oriented fighters like Fitch, Story and Koscheck, there is no way around it, unless you have a big mouth, and that's the only reason Hardy got to where he is in the first place.