Thiago Alves answered all the questions about potential weight issues, by coming out strong and storming through Papy Abedi in a little over three and a half minutes at UFC 138.
Alves used his lethal striking to set up a rear-naked choke finish at the 3:35 mark of the second round against the UFC newcomer in Birmingham, England.
"It feels amazing. I love England and this is one of the highlights of my career. I had an amazing training camp and can't wait for the next one," Alves said. "I'd love to fight in Brazil, that is my dream."
Alves (19-8, 11-5 UFC) needed this one badly. He was a minus-385 favorite Abedi, but was coming off a lackluster performance in a loss against Rick Story at UFC 130.
Tonight, Alves put on the type of show that earned him a title shot in 2009 at 170. His kicking game can be sick at times if he has the stamina to keep throwing. The gas tank was there. It turned out that missing weight yesterday at 172 pounds may have been a fluke, not a sign that he lacked discipline.
Alves peppered Abedi with low kicks over the first few minutes. He also took the best from the Zaire-native fighting out of Sweden had to offer. Give Abedi credit, he chose to stand and slug with a tough striker.
It finally cost him when he got nailed by a right over the ear and a left hook. The off-balance Abedi hit the floor seconds later where he was mounted. Alves rained down heavy punches and elbows before Abedi (8-1, 0-1 UFC) spun to give up his back.
The UFC is set to return to Brazil with UFC 142 in January.
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