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Thiago Alves to explore free agency after UFC on ESPN 7, ‘probably’ retire in 2020

UFC 183 photos
Thiago Alves (pictured) is set to take on Tim Means at UFC on ESPN 7 in Washington, DC, on Dec. 7.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The recently-announced welterweight clash with Tim Means at UFC on ESPN 7 on Dec. 7 could be the last time Thiago Alves enters the Octagon as a fighter.

“Pitbull”, a veteran of 26 fights under the UFC banner since 2005, confirmed to MMA Fighting that this is the final bout of his current deal with the company. The 36-year-old veteran plans on testing the market next and seeing “who pays more” as he enters what could be the final year of his career as a fighter.

“Let’s see who me pays more to compete in 2020, which will probably be my last year in competition,” Alves said. “I’m opening my ATT gym in the first half of 2020 and I already am one of the coaches at ATT. And I’m joining the police here in south Florida, trying to pass along a bit of my experience as a fighter to help my future brothers and sisters become more efficient in hand-to-hand combat.”

Alves has already joined the criminal justice college in Florida, and says that the process to become a police officer “is not that complicated, but takes time.” After his fight with Means in Washington, the Brazilian will have three tests: physical exam, swimming, and the Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test (CJBAT).

The ATT product, who started his mixed martial arts career as a teenager in Brazil, joined the UFC in 2005. After going 2-2 in his first four appearances, “Pitbull” kicked off a seven-fight winning streak that got him a shot at 170-pound champion Georges St-Pierre in the co-main event of UFC 100. “GSP” won via decision that night. Alves’ current record stands at 23-14.

Alves is coming off a decision defeat to Laureano Staropoli in May, dropping back from an emotional split decision win over Max Griffin in his hometown of Fortaleza in February. Throughout his UFC career, “Pitbull” has defeated the likes of Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, Patrick Cote, Jordan Mein, Karo Parisyan, and Chris Lytle.

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