Thiago Alves's Blogs
UFC 124 Postmortem: ‘Rush’ Hour
By: Jake Rossen
Georges St. Pierre | Dave Mandel: Sherdog.com
Even after making Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, and Thiago Alves look like they don’t belong in MMA, there’s still the idea that Georges St. Pierre isn’t the best fighter working: he hasn't been finishing, is unable or unwilling to put himself at enough risk to get that hostile, and therefore takes a back seat to fireball-throwing Anderson Silva. (Or, if you’re feeling really numb in the head, Jose Aldo.)
Never mind that all three of those opponents are barely ever put away; never mind that Silva had his own run of distance fights with Thales Leites and Demian Maia, or that Silva’s celebrated “move” to 205 included James Irvin. St. Pierre, whether he’s finishing or not, has displayed the most complete understanding of MMA to date: he can wrestle at a level that embarrasses NCAA champions and can strike with enough efficiency to harm others without coming to harm himself. There’s not much more you can ask of an MMA fighter.
I like definitive endings as much as anyone. It provides closure and it’s exciting and it looks terrific on a hype reel, but there comes a point when both fighters and fans realize that value can’t be completely wrapped up in violent finishes: walking into Koscheck’s right hand and losing status that’s taken years to build is not an even trade. (Ali winning as many fights by decision as he did by stoppage in the 1970s didn’t seem to bother anyone.) St. Pierre is exceptional not only for the skills he brings, but for what he risks -- a profile as an all-time great. Read more
Primer: UFC 124
By: Jake Rossen
Georges St. Pierre: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Fighting just twice a year and rarely compromised by opponents, Georges St. Pierre might be the single greatest original product of the modern-era Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Zuffa -- which bought the UFC brand in 2001 -- inherited a number of attractions from previous owners, including Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Chuck Liddell; Brock Lesnar’s fame was bred in pro wrestling; Kimbo Slice was a product of YouTube. The UFC has discovered and developed many stars, but St. Pierre is in a league of his own.
St. Pierre had several fights in Canada to begin his career, but it wasn’t until he began taking down high-level wrestlers in the UFC that people began to understand what was happening: a capital-A athlete had learned how to fight, and had developed his body for no other purpose.
Wrestlers had physicality, but only as a side effect of their collegiate careers -- worse, they often relied solely on their ability to grapple, their bodies and egos married to certain functions. When St. Pierre made his UFC debut seven years ago, he wasn’t trying to adapt. The athleticism and the skillset were built simultaneously.
Previous to St. Pierre, athletes took turns succeeding with fighters, and good athletes who married good skills (Matt Hughes, Couture) were regular winners. But St. Pierre is a great athlete with a great ability; he has the frame of an Olympian in a sport that hosts a lot of varsity players. The interest -- and there’s a lot, with St. Pierre’s last fight against Dan Hardy flirting with Lesnar numbers -- stems from that unlikely coupling. He could probably be a professional in another sport if he had made that decision. Instead, he’s operating at that level for the purpose of a new form of prizefight.
A few years from now there will probably be many St. Pierres, groomed athletes who groom great physical gifts with an understanding of violence. For now, he’s still the exception that will eventually insist on the rule. Read more
UFC 117 Postmortem: ‘Spider’ Nearly Squashed, Dos Santos, More
By: Jake Rossen
Chael Sonnen file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Someday, in his advanced age, Chael Sonnen will be pursuing a career in politics, real estate or possibly as a carnival barker. To entertain associates, he’ll tell the story of how he once beat Anderson Silva, pound-for-pound the greatest fighter of all time. Basically.
If Sonnen had kept his composure for just two more minutes Saturday, he would’ve been able to forget about the qualifiers and show off a belt. Instead, he fell victim to his regular vice: blissful misunderstanding of submission defense. He became so preoccupied delivering the last of CompuStrike’s 289 counted total blows to Silva’s head that he didn’t notice Silva’s long legs wrapping a noose around his neck. Two seconds of distraction amounts to fifty years of regret.
Sonnen will get plenty of notices for his performance, and he should; Silva will get plenty of flak for his, and it’s a shame. Sonnen had the ability and attitude to completely shut down Anderson, forcing him to find a way other than strikes to end the fight in his favor. Anderson took that and ran with it. It was more impressive than if Silva had blown him out in the opening minutes because Sonnen was able to display exactly how formidable a threat he was. It’s a win with context.
Sonnen lost as respectably as you can. But it’s still a loss. He had an advantage for 23 minutes and couldn’t finish the fight. When Silva had the advantage for ten seconds, he could. Who’s the better fighter? Read more
Alves Vows to Make Fitch Pay
UFC 117 pre-fight interview, courtesy of UFC.com. Read more
UFC 100 Primer: St. Pierre-Alves Red Ink
By: Jake Rossen
Thiago Alves has won seven bouts in a row, the last three against legitimate top-10 competition. Were it not for the traumatic evening against Matt Serra, Georges St. Pierre might now be holding the record for most consecutive wins in the Octagon. The point? That the No. 1 and No. 2 men in a division are fighting, both in their primes. And that’s not as typical as you’d think.Read more
Unlike most elite mixed martial artists who can do everything well but are legendary at nothing, St. Pierre performs at altitude levels in every facet of the game: He’s very good at being very good.
Alves: ‘I’m Going to Take His Belt’
By: Brian Knapp
A calm, cool and collected Thiago Alves, two days ahead of the most important fight of his career, spoke in plain terms when it came to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.Read more
The 25-year-old American Top Team ace will get his shot at 170-pound gold when he meets St. Pierre in the UFC 100 co-main event this Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Alves (16-3), one of the division’s most feared strikers, will carry a healthy respect for the champion into the bout, along with a seven-fight winning streak.