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Thiago Alves’ Return is Great for UFC

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Photo via UFC.com & Getty Images

Former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC on Fox 11–and it couldn’t have been timed any better.

Alves was last seen in March of 2012, where he was submitted by Martin Kampmann in the third round of a fight he was winning. A multitude of injuries have kept Alves out of competition since then, but his return is shaping up to be perfectly timed.

The UFC Welterweight division is currently wide open. Sure, guys like Rory MacDonald, Tyron Woodley, Hector Lombard, and Robbie Lawler are ahead of Alves to get a title shot, but Alves’ fan favorite fighting style only leaves him about two to three wins away from a title shot.

Also working in Alves’ favor is the fact that he has some of the best striking in all of mixed martial arts. Alves can put a striking clinic on anyone. Take a look at his two decision wins over John Howard and Josh Koscheck. Both fighters are, at the bare minimum, serviceable strikers. Howard is a muay thai specialist and one of the hardest punches in the division. When he fought Alves, he was unable to do anything significant in the striking department. When I spoke with Howard after the loss he complimented Alves’ striking technique, stating that it was some of the best “he’s ever seen.”

While the prospects of Alves challenging Johny Hendricks or any other top welterweight for UFC gold are intriguing, Alves has to get through Seth Baczynski first. Baczynksi lacks name recognition, but is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC. After a stint on the Ultimate Fighter 11, Baczynski dropped to welterweight and quickly ascended up the ranks with victories over the likes of Matt Brown and Alex Garcia. If Alves will be  in serious trouble if he takes Baczynksi lightly.

The bottom line is that the UFC is better when Alves is competing. With the welterweight division wide open, Alves could make a tremendous run and accomplish what many predicted he would: Win a UFC Championship.

Alves’ return to title contention starts at UFC on Fox 11.

For all of your UFC on Fox coverage, visit SciFighting.com.

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Daniel Reveles
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Daniel Reveles' interest in Mixed Martial Arts began at the age of fourteen while attending a Fantasy Football draft at a Friend's house. That day Daniel's buddies ordered UFC 88 on Pay-Per-View featuring lauded striker and hometown hero Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell squaring off with Division One Wrestler “Suga” Rashad Evans. After seeing “the wrestler” Rashad Evans put the Ice Man out cold with an overhand right, Daniel became instantly hooked by the unpredictability of the sport. Since that moment Daniel has become well versed in Mixed Martial Arts History and has yet to miss an event. Daniel is currently studying at the University of California Santa Barbara to receive his Bachelor's Degree in Communications with hopes of becoming the next big media mogul. When he is not watching MMA or studying you can find Daniel hanging out with his family and friends or taking in a game at the lovely Dodger Stadium.