It may be a case of three strikes and you're out for Alves who missed this weekend, back at UFC 85 and tested positive for use of diuretics after UFC 66. After listening to Dana White during the UFC 117 postfight press conference, he may not have to worry any longer about the tough cut.
"When you're in the UFC, your job is to make weight, period. End of story. Believe me, I don't think that Thiago didn't want to not make weight. He can't," said White. "Could he have cut that half of a pound? Maybe he couldn't have. Maybe he cut so much weight that mentally it would have broken him to cut that last half pound. That's [expletive]. It's not fair to him. It's not fair to anybody for that to keep happening."
Alves reached out to White shortly after the fight to apologize.
"He says, 'I'm sorry about that. I'll come back stronger,'" White said. "I said, 'Yeah, at 185, you will.' He said, 'No, I want to stay at 170.'"
"He belongs at 185 pounds," White said. "I feel that way. I know [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva feels that way. That's where I'd like to see him."
After mentioning that, White lost his cool a bit.
"I'd like to see him at 185," White said. "It's just [expletive] to have [Jon Fitch] come in and train, and it's [expletive] to have guys make weight and guys not make weight, especially at this level."
White said it's simply too risky to book Alves in big fights.
"It really screws things up," said White. "What happens if he did beat Fitch tonight to get a title shot and then doesn't make weight for the title [fight]? I know he can make . I guarantee you he can make 185 and will never have a problem with it. If you can't fight at 185, then I don't know what to tell you. You're too big."
White was disappointed by Alves' performance in the loss to Jon Fitch and could only find one reason for the lackluster effort.
"I'm not going to call it ring rust because when he got pulled from that last fight, he had a full training camp for [UFC 111]," White said. "Right before the fight, we found out he couldn't take it. He had to have the surgery and then got back into camp. It's not like this guy's been off for a year. He looked lethargic tonight. He looked slow. He doesn't belong at 170."
At the 5-foot-9, Alves may be a bit short for the middleweight division, but he'd be a nice addition to a division short on new blood.
- Thiago Alves
- Dana White