Longtime UFC welterweight veteran Thiago Alves is "100-percent healthy" and ready to fight as soon as UFC 171, according to a report on UFC Tonight, which is scheduled to take place on March 15, 2014, from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, and will be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight featuring Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira.
According to Ariel Helwani, Thiago Alves is finally 100% healthy and wants to fight on March 15 in Dallas.— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) December 5, 2013
Against who? Well, that remains to be seen.
"Pitbull" (20-9) hasn't been the same during the past several years, ever since he injured his knee in a bout against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre way back at UFC 100. It has been a roller coaster ride since then, as Alves was last seen tapping to a guillotine choke against Martin Kampmann almost two years ago at UFC on FX 2.
The 30-year-old Brazilian attempted to avoid surgery by only rehabbing his knee at the time, but years later gave into having a procedure done to repair both his ACL and PCL in his left knee (details). Alves then doubled down by suffering a torn pectoral muscle that required work, and then a biceps injury that sent him under the knife.
If you're keeping score, that's four, and we aren't even counting his brain surgery.
It's also water under the bridge, with any luck, but can he still be a major player in the promotion's crowded 170-pound division? If his timetable for return is any indication, we may find out sooner rather than later.
Let's hear some potential opponents for his first trip back to the Octagon...