Sometimes the the best lessons are the tough ones. UFC 138 fighter Thiago Alves can attest to this.
In his last fight, “Pit Bull” squared off against an up-and-coming fighter in Rick Story. The result wasn’t anything positive for the American Top Team stand-out, as Alves found himself dropping a decision.
Being on the losing end at UFC 130 made Alves realize something: never underestimate yourself, let alone your opponent. When it’s time to do work in the Octagon, one has to put in 100 percent every minute they’re in there.
Anything less gives negative results.
“I learned a big lesson last time with my fight… against Rick Story,” Alves told MMAWeekly Radio. “I kind of [underestimated]… myself. I didn’t want to work that hard when [it was] time to work.”
Admittedly, Alves didn’t anticipate the bout being as hard as it was. After all, Story hadn’t made as big of an impact as Alves did in when the Brazilian was shooting up the welterweight ladder. Story was just beginning to make his climb and Alves was his first main card fight on a Pay-Per-View.
Knowing this, Alves says he took it easy in the early stages of the Story fight. Unfortunately for Alves, taking it so easy cost him as the judges saw it in favor of his opposition.
“I thought the fight was going to be easy,” he admitted. “I didn’t want to work as hard.”
Time to change the game-face.
Alves, knowing what he knows now, say he’s ready to turn things around. Gone are the days of going easy on lesser-known opponents. Now come the times where “Pit Bull” readies himself for another climb up the 170-pound ladder.
“I’m ready to make another run,” he said.
At UFC 138, Alves will take on someone who’s even less known than Story was to UFC fans. Papy Abedi will make his organizational debut against Alves and he won’t be welcomed with open arms. According to the former No. 1 contender, Abedi isn’t going to be taken lightly and the arsenal will be fully stocked on fight night to pull out the win.
Things are getting serious now.
“I’m preparing myself [for this as] the biggest threat in my career,” he said. “I’m going to out there fully prepared.”
Things appear to be turning towards a positive direction for Alves. He’s sharpened all his tools and is prepared for a welterweight showdown in the U.K., and all aspects of his MMA game are the best they’ve ever been, according to “Pit Bull.”
On top of the physical preparedness, Alves has mentally become a well-oiled machine. And despite not making weight on his first attempt on Friday, Alves’ body and brain became a lethal combination well-suited for battle with Abedi Saturday night at UFC 138.
“I think I’m the best that I’ve ever been,” he said. “Technical-wise, I’m the best striker I’ve ever been, the best jiu-jitsu guy, the best wrester I’ve ever been in my whole entire career. And not only that, I’m just a different machine when it comes to my mental game.
“Mike Dolce just built a whole new body for me to go to battle and I’m very excited to take the body to the battle field.”
Ready the troops for war, England.