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Thiago Alves: What He Must Do To Become a Top Contender Again

Alex JohnsonContributor INovember 3, 2011

Thiago Alves: What He Must Do To Become a Top Contender Again

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    Thiago Alves, the former welterweight top contender, has lost three straight to some very experienced wrestlers.

    The "Muay Thai Wrecking Machine" is getting another chance to to fight—and this time it might be for his job.

    At UFC 138, Papy Abedi and Thiago Alves will face off in what promises to be an exciting fight. This is what Thiago must do to win and return to the path toward being a top contender once again.

Keep the Fight Standing

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    Alves' game plan isn't a surprise to anyone. He's going to stand up with you, punish you with leg kicks and try to knee you in the face to finish the fight.

    Every fighter knows this and most don't want to stand with the Brazilian. Thiago's take-down defense used to be top-notch, but as of late, wrestlers have been able to take him down and grind out victories.

    If he can bring back that aggressive take-down offense, Alves can win any fight.

Gameplan

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    A good game plan would save Thiago from another loss.

    In the third round of his fight with Rick Story, Alves utilized a good strategy of aggressive striking, quick movement and superior cardio to beat down Story. In the first two rounds however, Story was able to implement his own game plan of keeping Alves up against the cage.

    A better game plan in his next fight will put Alves back on track.

BJJ and Wrestling

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    Thiago has no submission wins under his belt. Pulling off a submission would not only give him a win but would also add another aspect to his arsenal.

    Alves' previous two opponents, Howard and Story, were both taken down by the Pitbull. If Alves uses his incredible strength (look him—he's huge!), he could really be a dominant force on the ground—especially when he uses his vicious ground-and-pound.

Strength and Conditioning

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    Thiago is already strong and powerful and his cardio is very good. He rarely shows fatigue.

    If Alves puts his superior conditioning to use, he will control his fights. Against some top-level wrestlers in the past, Alves showed great take-down defense—but recently he's been struggling.

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