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Thiago 'Pitbull' Alves meets Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Thiago Alves will finally return to the Octagon.

Long-time welterweight veteran, and former welterweight title contender, "Pitbull" gets back inside the cage for the first time since 2012 in a 170-pound clash with Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11 in April, the promotion announced on Thursday.

"Pitbull" (19-9) hasn’t fought since a late submission loss to Martin Kampmann in March of 2012. The Brazilian was expected to meet Yoshihiro Akiyama, Siyar Bahadurzada and Matt Brown after that loss, but battled consecutive injuries that forced him out of the cage for two years.

With an 11-6 record under the UFC banner, Alves told last September he expected an early 2014 return to the cage, and looked excited about it.

"I’ve been studying a lot in these last couple years that I’m not fighting," he said. "My division is open, ready for someone to get there and dominate it and I’m sure I’ll be this guy. I just need to heal my body and take one fight at a time to get to the top.

"There’s no one dominating it. It’s the perfect time for me to get there. This is going to be the best year of my career. My best years are in the future, and I’m super excited with what I’m seeing in this division."

To get back to the win column, Alves needs to get past by Baczynski (19-10), who bounced back from a pair of losses with a decision victory over Neil Magny last November. "The Polish Pistola" has stoppage wins over the likes of Matt Brown and Simeon Thoresen inside the Octagon.

UFC’s return to FOX takes place at the Amway Center on April 19 in Orlando, Fla.

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