Even though Thiago Alves is entering his UFC 90 bout against Josh Koscheck as a slight underdog, he feels very confident in his ability to be able to impose his will on the last-minute replacement. Not only does he feel that he will be able to overwhelm him with his superior overall MMA game, but he expects to be in a title match after he has his hand raised this Saturday.
“That’s what I’m here for. I know I’m going to be the world champion, it’s just a matter of time,” Alves told MMAWeekly.com.
Given Alves’ track record, he is certainly building a strong case for himself. He currently holds a 15-3 professional record, 8-2 in the UFC, and is riding a five-fight win streak. His most recent victory came at UFC 85 where he dominated the two-time former UFC lightweight champion Matt Hughes.
Koscheck stepped in for an injured Diego Sanchez last week, just 17 days prior to the welterweight showdown. Although he was looking forward to facing Sanchez, he actually feels that Koscheck may be a better matchup for him.
“Me personally I like this fight better, I think it’s a better match-up for me,” stated the American Top Team fighter. “Diego’s got that southpaw, unorthodox style and he’s really dangerous on the ground. I think this fits me better.
“Koscheck is a really dangerous fighter too. He’s got great stand-up, he’s very athletic, and great wrestling and great jiu-jitsu too,” Alves added. “Let’s say once it hits the ground, with Diego, I mean I have to very careful with Koscheck too, but it’s just because of his background. Diego is a jiu-jitsu guy so I have to watch out for a couple things he does on the ground.”
The opponent may be different, however the stakes are the same. A win here could very well place Alves in a title shot against the winner of the BJ Penn and champion Georges St-Pierre bout, which is scheduled for January 31st at UFC 94.
Alves is more than ready to step up to the challenge, feeling that his time has arrived.
“I’m going to do everything I have to do to win this fight,” stated the Brazilian. “I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I don’t know the way that it will be, but I’m going to knock him out. After this fight, I’m looking for my title shot.”