What once was lost now is found.
UFC welterweight stalwart Jon Fitch (21-3) is currently in discussions to rematch Thiago Alves (16-6) at UFC 111 from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on March 27, setting up a fantastic 170-pound showdown that will prove once and for all how far both former number one contenders have come since their initial encounter back in 2006.
Their rematch was originally pegged for UFC 107 in Memphis, Tennessee; however, "The Pitbull" had to withdraw due to a knee injury. Fitch remained on the card and defeated Mike Pierce via unanimous decision.
Fitch scored a convincing second round technical knockout of the Brazilian at UFC Fight Night 5. He would go on to win his next five fights and earn a crack at division champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87: "Seek and Destroy" in Aug. 2008.
He was overwhelmed by the Canadian for 25 minutes, losing a lopsided unanimous decision.
Alves, too, went on a tear after the loss to Fitch with seven consecutive victories over top-ranked opponents such as Matt Hughes and Karo Parisyan, as well as outpointing Josh Koscheck on all three judges scorecards at UFC 90 in October of 2008.
However, St. Pierre would also end Alves’ run with another five-round clinic at UFC 100 back in July.
On the other hand, Fitch exacted revenge against submission specialist Paulo Thiago with a unanimous decision at UFC 100 and notched a similar result against Akihiro Gono earlier this year. He also outworked Mike Pierce (Alves' replacement at UFC 107) to earn the nod from all three judges sitting ringside.
So is Fitch still better than Alves more than three years later or has Alves matured to a point where his last loss is essentially meaningless because he is a totally different fighter?
Tune in on March 27 and find out once and for all. In the meantime, let's hear what you have to say below.
UFC 111 is expected to feature a 170-pound title defense by promotion superstar Georges St. Pierre as "Rush" answers the call of British striker Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy. Heavyweights Frank Mir and Shane Carwin are also expected to collide in an interim title match while Brock Lesnar recovers from recent surgery.
To check out the latest UFC 111 fight card and rumors click here.