THIAGO ALVES: RETURN OF THE PITBULL
By Jack Slack, FIGHTLAND
For a long time, Thiago Alves seemed to be the welterweight champion that the UFC wanted. From 2005 to 2008, his sole loss was to the great spoiler, Jon Fitch, and Alves rattled off seven knockouts in that three-year period.
Consider that today Johny Hendricks is touted as a KO machine based off of three knockouts since 2011 and you will realize that at his peak Alves was startlingly good at putting men down with strikes.
Alves had bested Karo Parisyan and Chris Lytle by the summer of 2008, and found himself in against Matt Hughes—fresh off of his rubber match with Georges St. Pierre and ready to make a case for a fourth fight.
The ease with which Alves stuffed Hughes' takedowns was alarming. Hughes even resorted to pulling guard at several points in the bout. Each time Hughes shot in, Alves would look to time him with a knee. One such knee opened a gash over Hughes' eye.