Thiago Alves is one of the best 170-pound mixed martial arts fighters in the world. Except that he doesn't weigh 170 pounds.
Alves is coming off a destruction of Matt Hughes at UFC 85, but he weighed in for that fight at 174 pounds, four over the welterweight limit. So when Alves was in Chicago to promote his upcoming fight with Diego Sanchez at UFC 90, I asked him how much he weighs now and how confident he is that he can weigh in at 170.
"Right now I'm about 200," Alves said. "That's 30 pounds over my weight division, but it won't be a problem for me to make weight."
UFC President Dana White gave Alves a smirk when I asked the question, as if to say, "You knew this was coming up." Alves said that the only reason he failed to make weight at UFC 85 was that he sprained his ankle 10 days before the fight and wasn't able to do the cardio routine he usually does in the days leading up to the weigh-in.
Alves will get a tough fight from Sanchez, the former Ultimate Fighter
winner, who said, "My striking is improving every day. I'm going to go in there and show what I showed in the (TKO victory over Luigi Fiorvanti), that I can strike, I can bang. I'm looking forward to it."
The Sanchez-Alves winner is likely to get a welterweight title shot some time next year, and in my opinion Alves is the welterweight best equipped to beat champion Georges St. Pierre. As long as he makes weight.
"I just believe I can knock anybody out in my weight division," Alves said. "That's my plan. I like to knock people out and that's what I'm going to do."