by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
While the welterweight division looks towards a championship match in August between current titleholder Georges St. Pierre and Jon Fitch, the weight class will continue to build towards a new top contender as MMAWeekly.com has learned that American Top Team knockout artist Thiago “Pitbull” Alves is slated to return on Oct. 18 to face former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Diego Sanchez.
The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight. There is currently a verbal agreement with actual bout agreements for the contest expected to be signed in the next few days.
Showing a true dedication to making his way to the top of the welterweight division, Alves has never been shy about facing top competition in the division.
Most recently, he finished former Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight kingpin Matt Hughes by TKO in the second round of their main event match-up in England at UFC 85. Before that fight, Alves became the first fighter ever to knockout Karo Parisyan, thus solidifying himself as one of the most dangerous fighters at 170 pounds.
Now Alves will have a chance to cement his placement in the division even more as he takes on the always-dangerous Diego Sanchez in the co-main event of UFC 89 in England, sharing the spotlight with a middleweight bout pitting Michael Bisping against Chris Leben.
Sanchez started his career with an unblemished record and looked to be making his way towards an eventual title shot before suffering the first loss of his career against longtime rival Josh Koshcheck in April 2007.
Following a lackluster performance in that fight, Sanchez went to battle with Koscheck’s teammate and current No. 1 contender, Jon Fitch. Despite a strong performance, Sanchez dropped his second fight in row losing a close split decision to Fitch at UFC 76.
Since that time, Sanchez has returned to form, stopping David Bielkheden at UFC 82 and then putting on a stand-up clinic against Luigi Fioravanti at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale in June.
The match-up between Alves and Sanchez should produce fireworks as both fighters possess an amazing well rounded style, while maintaining an always intense pace.