Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweights Carlos Condit and Thiago Alves scrapped last night (Sat., May 30, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 67 inside Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil.
It's been a difficult couple years for Condit, but he was looking to move forward. To re-establish himself as a top contender, Condit needed a dominant victory last night.
Similarly, Alves was looking to break back into the Top 10 after some years of injuries and inconsistency. With both men highly motivated to return to past heights, the strikers were hunting for the knockout.
As expected. Condit threw a very high volume of strikes and never stopped working. As his foil, Alves patiently looked for counter strikes, particularly his low kick. This switched up with about a minute remaining in the round, as Alves took the center of the cage and began pursuing his opponent.
All in all, the first round was pretty close. Both men landed some seriously hard shots, with Condit likely having the edge in total strikes. That said, Alves clearly landed the harder shots, and he made his opponent miss quite a bit.
Alves started the second round very well, landing some hard inside low kicks. Then, Condit hid a nasty elbow behind a left hand that badly rocked his opponent. Condit followed the Brazilian to the mat, slamming punches and elbows into his opponent.
Though he was clearly hurt, Alves survived and worked back up.
In the stand up, Alves was undeterred and hunting for his own knockout punch. Though he appeared to recover well, he was not able to stop Condit's flurry. After connecting with a series of vicious right elbows, Condit landed a slick takedown from the clinch. For the rest of the round, Condit worked his opponent over with a tornado of violence.
It was a dominant round for Condit -- one that left Alves with a badly broken nose (see the pic here). Unfortunately for the fans, the doctor called a stop to the scrap, though it was definitely in Alves' best interest.
Condit was looking to make a statement ... and it showed. He never stopped pursuing his opponent and threw an insane amount of strikes. Eventually, one connected cleanly, and "Natural Born Killer" swarmed until the eventual finish.
In this fight, Condit displayed a ton of variety in his offense. He was throwing punches, teeps, round kicks, knee strikes, and most effectively, elbows. Condit's usage of elbows was excellent; he's clearly been working on it. Not only was he landing them from the phone booth, but Condit initially dropped his opponent at range with a lunging elbow.
Furthermore, Condit actually used takedowns of his own while chasing the finish. It was nice to see Condit mix in offensive wrestling to his swarm, as it's another tool that keeps his opponent off-balance and leaves them open to his Muay Thai assault. In particular, the clinch trip he landed fits quite well into his clinch arsenal.
After this performance, it's safe to say that Condit is back. He should return right to the top of the division, and a match up with Matt Brown -- should he defeat Tim Means -- would be an excellent scrap that was promised a long time ago.
Despite the loss, Alves fought incredibly well. His defense was largely on point, as Condit missed a large number of strikes and many of his landed shots were deflected. Additionally, Alves was really ripping into his opponent's legs with counter kicks. Had the fight continued late, that may have given Alves an advantage.
Unfortunately, the Brazilian needed a perfect performance to win. Condit was just throwing so many strikes, and only one had to land clean enough to rock Alves. Once that happened, it's nearly impossible to stop Condit from swarming.
Alves should not lose any status after this defeat. He may not be a title contender any longer, but Alves has proven himself a legitimate top 15 fighter once again. He should face off with an opponent of similar stature in his next bout, such as Ryan LaFlare.
Last night, Carlos Condit made a successful return to the Octagon at the expense of Thiago Alves. Can Condit work his way back into a title shot?
For complete UFC Fight Night 67 "Condit vs Alves" results and play-by-play click HERE!