Thiago Alves: 5 Defining Moments

By Chase Ruttig Feb 15, 2018

Debuting in the Octagon nearly 13 years ago at UFC Fight Night 2, welterweight Thiago Alves is one of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s longest-serving veterans.

With a wealth of experience inside the UFC, Alves has experienced ups and downs throughout his career. From title opportunities, to losing streaks later in his career, Alves has witnessed it all on the sport’s biggest stage.

After a win over fellow veteran Patrick Cote at UFC 210 in April 2017, Alves returns from a layoff to face newcomer Curtis Millender at UFC Fight Night 126.

Before Alves looks to add to his list of accomplishments, here are the five defining moments of his career:

1. Violent Fight of the Night win against Chris Lytle.

Early in his career, Alves was a successful welterweight who had yet to make a name for himself despite a string of victories. A fight against Lytle at UFC 78 turned into a violent display of skill to put the Brazilian on the map. Alves and Lytle went to war for two rounds, with Alves raining down enough damage to force a doctor’s stoppage after the second stanza. The contest won Fight of the Night honors and turned Alves from a prospect into a known commodity that was soon fast tracked to the top of the welterweight rankings.

2. Short notice win over Matt Hughes.

After the Fight of the Night win over Lytle and a TKO against Karo Parisyan, Alves earned an opportunity against former champion Matt Hughes in the UFC 85 main event. A late replacement for a scheduled fight between Rashad Evans and Chuck Liddell, Alves unfortunately missed weight. However, Alves erased any negative attention surrounding the failure with a shocking performance against the favorite. After negating Hughes’ takedown offense in the first round and establishing his striking, Alves put his opponent away with a flying knee in the second frame. The knockout established Alves as a top contender in the welterweight division and placed him in a title eliminator opportunity.

3. Title eliminator win over Josh Koscheck.

The aforementioned win over Hughes earned Alves a title eliminator fight with Koscheck at UFC 90. With Sanchez stepping in for Diego Sanchez on short notice, Alves would once again be matched against a dominant wrestler in Koscheck and was up to the challenge. Utilizing a game plan of damaging leg kicks and showcasing the improved takedown defense he exhibited in the win over Hughes, Alves earned a convincing unanimous decision win over Koscheck to earn an opportunity of a lifetime against Georges St. Pierre at the historic UFC 100 event. This fight served as one of Alves’ best performance in the Octagon.

4. UFC 100

The win over Koscheck brought Alves into his fight for the UFC welterweight championship against GSP with incredible hype. Throw in the fact the fight was slated for the epic card and Alves’ first UFC title shot, this had all of the makings for a legendary encounter. Unfortunately for Alves, the event served as a humbling experience. The takedown defense Alves exhibited against both Hughes and Koscheck was nonexistent against St. Pierre in a unanimous decision loss. All in all, Alves was taken to the ground by GSP 10 times and was clearly the lesser of the two fighters. With little opportunity to showcase his striking, the night was a disappointment for Alves and still serves as his only UFC title fight to date.

5. Win over Patrick Cote in welterweight return.

Post-UFC 100, Alves’ career has experienced mix results. Alves has a record of 5-5 since the GSP loss, which included a one fight experiment at lightweight for UFC 205 against Jim Miller. Alves missed weight for the fight and subsequently lost, forcing a quick return to welterweight for UFC 210. In his welterweight return, Alves faced fellow veteran Cote and saw a return to form with an unanimous decision victory over the Canadian. After two consecutive losses and the failed 155-pound experiment, the conquest of Cote serves as a glimmer of hope that Alves can build himself back up in the welterweight division at the tail end of his career.


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