It has been quite the rough patch for Thiago Alves in the last few years. The former welterweight title challenger has submitted himself to four surgeries and stayed away from the Octagon for over two years after his submission loss to Martin Kampmann in 2012. Then “Pitbull” defeated Seth Baczynski by decision and knocked out Jordan Mein with a brutal kick to the body in a back and forth battle that earned him a “Performance Of The Night” bonus.
Now ready to face Carlos Condit in Goiania, at UFC Fight Night 67, on May 30, Alves says is happy to fight in Brazil again and wants to knock out the “Natural Born Killer”, in an interview to radio show “Mundo da Luta” (transcript via Tatame):
“I’m really excited because I haven’t fought in Brazil in 12 years. I moved to the United States when I was 19 to train at American Top Team and I think now is the perfect time to come back and fight in Brazil again. I’m well, I’m ready and I’m mature. I feel no pressure, because it’s a privilege to do a main event in Brazil. I will represent my country and get the KO”.
Injury-free, “Pitbull” says he’s ready to fight wherever the fight takes place. He intends to return to the top of the division with a win over former interim champion, Carlos Condit.
“My plan is to get back on top. After all I’ve been through. I had four surgeries in two years, spent 777 days not doing anything. I fought back in April, and I won, then I fought again in January this year and now I’ll fight again in May. I think those last fights really got me ready for Condit. I think it’ll be a good fight for the both of us. It could happen standing or it could go to the ground, it’ll be a high level fight. But I’ll be there to finish it, I won’t leave it for the judges”.
So many years away from the game, Alves claims he never once thought about retiring. Instead, he said he used that time away from fighting to develop his mental strength.
“I never thought about quitting. I knew that was just a phase. I was on the top and then I had to stop, so I worked on different parts of my game. I couldn’t work on the physical aspect, so I worked on the mental one. I saw sports psychologists. The time off was good for me to renew myself, so I could get extra motivation. My body feels as good as ever. I’m 31, but I feel like 27. I learned a lot from my mistakes, I started out really young and did some things I shouldn’t have, but I have learned and today I am where I am and I don’t regret anything”.
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