Despite the fact welterweight king Georges St-Pierre will be defending his crown against Dan Hardy at UFC 111, arguably the most important 170-pound bout going down inside the Prudential Center this Saturday is the long-awaited mulligan between former top contenders Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch.
Although the Brazilian was controlling Fitch for much of their initial meeting at “UFC Fight Night 5” back in June 2006, Fitch managed to land a vicious up-kick to Alves’ grill in the 2ndRound that ultimately put him out.
That victory was part of a 16-fight win streak that Fitch rode into his UFC 87 title fight loss to GSP. Although he showed Ultimate Warrior-like spirit, the champ outclassed Fitch en route to earning a lopsided unanimous decision W.
Following his loss to the American Kickboxing Academy representative, Alves reeled-off seven consecutive wins of his own to propel himself into a 5Round affair with St-Pierre at UFC 100, but like Fitch, St-Pierre brought his winning streak to a convincing halt when he posted another unanimous decision victory.
Both have improved substantially since their first encounter, however some might argue that Alves has evolved at a much quicker pace. With a resounding victory, it’s likely the winner will find themselves in another title bout in their next outing.
Alves is a dynamic striker and is built like an ox. The American Top Team-trained athlete is as strong as anyone in the entire division, including GSP, however Fitch is extremely well-rounded and is possibly the most resilient welterweight in the world.
It’s a close one to score from a fan’s perspective and the oddsmakers agree as Alves will enter the Octagon a slim favorite (-140) to collect his 17th win while Fitch plays the role of the underdog (+110).
Please click the media play below to listen to ESPN.com’s Franklin McNeil breaking down the Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves matchup with 5thRound.com’s very own, Tom Ngo:
Tom and Franklin will be analyzing each of the five UFC 111 main bouts leading up to Saturday’s extravaganza. Their coverage will resume tomorrow when they preview the 170-pound scrap between Jake Ellenberger and Ben Saunders.
Here’s what the duo had to say yesterday about the lightweight fight between Mark Bocek vs. Jim Miller.