With a victory in Brazil later tonight (Sat., May 30, 2015), veteran mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Thiago Alves says he's next in line for a shot at the Welterweight belt.
Alves, who fights Carlos "The Natural Born Killer" Condit in the main event at UFC Fight Night 67, spoke to MMA Fighting during open workouts inside Goiania Arena about the potential showdown, the 170-pound title, his American Top Team (ATT) teammates and champions Robbie Lawler and Daniel Cormier, as we as the controversial Reebok deal and Ronda Rousey.
Although Alves expressed certainty that Lawler will finish Canadian challenger Rory MacDonald in their much vaunted rematch at UFC 189 in July, "Pitbull" wouldn't turn down the opportunity to fight his friend for the strap.
"The belt's gonna stay at ATT," he told reporters.
That's something MacDonald said he would never do, while former division champion Georges St-Pierre ruled the roost. "Red King" (or whatever new nickname he's calling himself this year) doesn't have that problem anymore, since "GSP" took a break from the sport following his controversial win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.
It was GSP who originally stopped the torrid hot streak of Alves at UFC 100, defeating the Brazilian by unanimous decision and ending a seven-fight win streak.
A win over Condit will put him next in line to avenge that title shot ... or at least one or two fights away.
"I'm going to knock him out or submit him. It's not going to a decision. If it goes to a decision he's getting the beating of his life," said Alves.
To defeat Condit, however, will be no easy task. The Albuquerque, N.M., native has been finished just once by technical knockout, an injury he suffered at UFC 171 while battling Tyron Woodley, which kept him out of action for 14 months. And while he has fallen to submission three times in his career, the last was back in 2006.
Alves is on a two-fight win streak, dispatching striker Jordan Mein in the second round at UFC 183 and winning a unanimous decision against Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11: "Werdum vs. Browne."
Could the "Pitbull" be on a career renaissance? We'll find out later this evening.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 67 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before moving on to the main card, which is slated to start at 10 p.m. ET.