With 16 UFC fights under his experienced belt, it’s easy to forget that Thiago Alves (Pictured) is only 28 years of age. After bumping his resume to 19-8 on Saturday night by disposing of Papy Abedi, the former welterweight top contender is ready to start the next phase of his controversial career.
“I’ve been through some tough spots, but that’s just life, the way it happens,” Alves expressed at the UFC 138 post-fight press conference. “This fight was very special for me because I put in a lot of work and opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’m very happy.”
The Brazilian should be pleased, if not extremely relieved. Alves had dropped three of his last four fights prior to submitting Abedi. After losing his title bout to welterweight king Georges St-Pierre in July 2009, the striker appeared to lose much of his mojo.
However, Alves unleashed the same killer instinct on Abedi that had many believing he was the heir apparent to the 170-pound throne not too many moons ago. “The Pitbull” claims the defeats, weight issues and banned substance test in 2006 has helped him become the mature man he is today.
“I think the more time you spend in this sport, you find more ways to get motivated some way, somehow,” Alves said. “You stop thinking about the bad stuff. It’s just life. Sometimes you have to go through stuff to get better. That’s where I think I am right now.
“I came through all of it and I’m ready. I’m very excited. Bring it on.”