Surgery shelves UFC welterweight Thiago Alves until July 2013

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Former UFC welterweight number one contender Thiago Alves is going back under the knife to repair his mangled knee, and doesn't expect a return to the Octagon until July of 2013.

After 17 straight fights inside the Octagon, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans were kind of used to seeing Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Thiago Alves mixing it up in the 170-pound weight class.

Hopefully, absence will make the heart grow fonder.

That's because "The Pitbull" is expected to be out of action for over a year, following yet another surgery to help correct lingering issues with his knee, which come on the heels of a pectoral repair that booted him from the UFC 149 event last summer.

The Brazilian breaks it down for MMA Weekly:

"I just went through another surgery. I had to do my PCL and my ACL on my left knee and I was excited to do that because it's an old injury; I've had it since 2009. At this point, I knew the PCL was gone, but the ACL was damaged too. I already took half of the year off because of the chest surgery and I haven't been 100-percent since 2009 because of the knee. I've got a few years ahead, I'm still just 29, so we're going to do this right. That's why we decided to get everything done, get it out of the way. So I can come back at 100-percent. I'm shooting for June of next year, hopefully by the middle of the year I'll be ready to go. I'm thinking about four to five months of rehab, and three months to get in shape. So I'm shooting for June [or] July."

I guess it's better than brain surgery.

Alves (29-9) hasn't been seen since he choked against Martin Kampmann (literally) at the UFC on FUEL TV 2 event last April. His career has been mired in mediocrity since failing to dethrone Georges St. Pierre at the UFC 100 pay-per-view (PPV) back in 2009.

Whether or not his recent slew of repairs will help (or hinder) his future performances, remains to be seen.

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