After failing to make weight for his lightweight debut in his last outing, Thiago Alves returned to the welterweight division against fellow veteran Patrick Cote at UFC 210 on Saturday. Back at his optimal weight, Alves looked sharp in his 22nd Octagon appearance. He dominated Cote on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Alves looked like his old self. He put on a striking clinic, knocking Cote down twice during the fight. Cote pressured Alves most of the fight, but it wasn’t the best strategy. As he moved forward late in the opening round, Alves landed a left hand that dropped the Canadian.
Cote came out aggressive in the second frame, but Alves remained composed and continued to pick his opponent apart. During an exchange along the cage midway through the round, Alves delivered a right hand that knocked Cote to his knees.
Cote decided to change game plans in the final round. After losing the striking exchanges through the first two frames, Cote tried to take the Brazilian down. Alves defended the attempt and put Cote on his back instead. He delivered short elbows and punches. When Cote got back to his feet, he was cut and bloodied.
Cote tried to mount an offense and lure Alves into a slug fest. Alves didn’t deviate from his game plan and continued to land shots. In the closing seconds of the fight, Alves leaped into the air with a flying knee. When the fight ended, Cote took off his gloves and left them inside the cage. After the decision was read, Cote announced his retirement.
“That was the plan from the beginning, win or lose that would be my last fight,” said Cote. “Thank you very much. It’s been an amazing fifteen years. Thank you to the fans.”
Alves was happy to be back at welterweight. The win was his first since January 2015.
“It feels good to be back at welterweight. It’s been a long time since I’ve had my hand raised. I’m excited to be back,” he said. “My attempt to drop to lightweight, I got off a good 10 to 12 pounds of body weight, so this weight cut was a lot easier. I felt great.”