A new and improved Thiago Alves?
It would appear UFC fans are in for exactly that after Alves put on a masterful performance with a dominant striking game to out work John Howard at UFC 124.
Alves’ weight cutting struggles were well documented prior to the weekend in Montreal, so the Brazilian called on Mike Dolce to help him with his nutrition and fight conditioning. After Saturday night, it looks like Dolce is in for a big bonus.
Looking as fresh as he ever has for a fight, Alves was quick to the punch and absolutely demolished Howard’s lead leg with kicks. The Brazilian even managed to mix in a couple takedowns during the fight.
To Howard’s credit he took some shots that would put most welterweights away, but he felt the power and continued to move forward.
Alves looked disciplined and crisp for all three rounds, while also dropping Howard with a good punch in the third and final round. The judges saw the same thing and awarded the American Top Team fighter 30-27 scores across the board.
“I’m really, really happy. I worked really, really hard to get here today,” Alves professed after the fight. “John Howard’s a really tough guy, I liked the match-up since the beginning. I knew with the right training, the right preparation I could out scheme him for any game.”
The win puts Alves back on track after two losses and a pile of weight cutting problems. With Mike Dolce on his side and American Top Team in the gym, Alves will continue to be a force at 170lbs in the UFC.