Thiago Alves, finally found his comfort zone in making weight for the welterweight division, is coming off of a win over John Howard on Dec. 11 at UFC 124 in Montreal. On Friday, he found out that he is already slated to return to the Octagon in May.
“Just found out I’ll be back inside of the cage in May! Great news to finish the year!” Alves Tweeted on Friday. In a follow up Tweet, he said that he didn’t know much about who he would face yet.
MMAWeekly.com sources, however, said that Alves is expected to fight Rick Story on May 28 at the UFC’s annual Memorial Day weekend event in Las Vegas.
Alves (19-6) had fallen out of favor with UFC brass when he failed to make weight for his UFC 117 bout with Jon Fitch after also having trouble making weight in past bouts. He hired nutritionist Mike Dolce for his fight with Howard and had no trouble making the 171-pound limit for the non-title fight. In fact, Alves indicated he was the most relaxed he’s been for a fight.
“I was having fun at the whole show. This time I had a lot of energy and I was just loving life,” Alves told MMAWeekly.com.
His unanimous decision victory over Howard ended a two-fight skid. Alves lost his UFC welterweight title challenge against Georges St-Pierre, and then the catchweight affair with Fitch.
Story (12-3) made a less than spectacular Octagon debut, dropping a unanimous decision to John Hathaway at UFC 99. He rebounded in tremendous fashion, reeling off five straight victories, most recently knocking Johny Hendricks from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Alves, who is ranked No. 4 in the world’s top welterweights, will be the toughest test and greatest opportunity of the 26-year-old’s career.
It’s not yet clear what the number of the May 28 event will be, although UFC 129 is set for April 30 in Toronto.
(Additional reporting by Damon Martin)