By JOHN SPECHT
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Thiago Alves is going to have to wait a little longer to be able to get back in action after a tumulus time for one the UFC's most explosive fighters. UFC officials chose to use caution with the speed of his return (after surgery) and rescheduled the fight for UFC 117 on August 7th in Oakland, California, the cities first UFC event.
Alves has been recovering from what was described as minor brain surgery (is any brain surgery minor?) about four weeks ago. Doctors removed an artery from a vein, which was earlier deemed a slight “irregularity” when first discovered. The problem was found just days before “The Pitbull” was set to square off against John Fitch for the second time in their careers.
Fitch and Alves first fought in June 2006, with Fitch fiighting his way to a second-round victory. Since that night, the two have shot up the welterweight ladder and are considered by many to be the next top contenders behind current champion Georges St. Pierre.
“Making sure Alves is 100 percent healthy,” White replied via text when asked about the change of date reason. It's nice to see this in combat sports, which usually are infamous with doing the opposite of what is in the best interest of the fighters.
“My MRI looks good; everything looks fine,” Alves today told sources. “I'm cleared to spar again. I was supposed to be cleared with the MRI, but as I am a UFC fighter, they want me to do a follow-up of the same procedure just to be sure.”
Let's hope Thiago recovers quickly and fully, as this should be another war between two of the top fighters at the stacked weight class. If this fight ever actually takes place, make mine Fitch. It would be a great story for Alves and his camp, but likely too much to overcome. Alves will be trying for his 8th win in 9 fights, while Fitch is going for an astounding 21 wins in his last 22 fights.
In December, the UFC brass inked a deal with Versus (VS) that would have two live broadcast events in 2010 on the network, which is home to it's sister promotion, World Extreme Cagefighting, since 2007.