Alves, the former welterweight title contender who had lost three of his last four fights, beat UFC newcomer Papy Abedi with a first-round submission on Saturday at UFC 138.
"I love England," Alves told the fans in Birmingham, England after the fight. "You guys are the best. I love you guys."
It was the first submission victory of Alves' UFC career, but as he usually does when he's at his best, Alves used his striking to take control of the fight. A hard couple of punches battered Abedi standing up and wobbled him, and Alves then pounced and started punishing Abedi on the ground. For a moment it appeared that referee Dan Miragliotta was ready to step in and stop the fight, but Abedi managed to hold on for dear life.
However, when Abedi held on for a moment, Alves simply took Abedi's back and sunk in a rear-naked choke. Abedi quickly tapped out.
The victory gets Alves's career back on track, and he can now start to look for fights with highly ranked opponents again. Abedi looked, frankly, like he doesn't belong in the UFC -- he might not get a second chance inside the Octagon. But this was the kind of win Alves needed.