Thiago Alves is apparently healed up and ready to make his lightweight debut this summer, with Globo in Brazil reporting that he will face Al Iaquinta at the yet-to-be-announced UFC 202 event, expected for Las Vegas on August 20.
Alves, entering his 11th year in the UFC, has competed exclusively at welterweight throughout his career, even challenging for that division’s title at UFC 100 in 2009. He’s 13-7 overall in his 20-fight run, though injuries have continued to plague him over the last several years. He hasn’t fought since May of 2015, where he was stopped by Carlos Condit to bring a halt to a two-fight winning streak.
As for Iaquinta, he’s returning after a lengthy layoff himself. The Ultimate Fighter Live season runner-up is 7-1 since falling short during that season, and is riding a four-fight winning streak into this return. The 29-year-old has been out since April of last year after undergoing surgery.
The UFC is targeting the UFC 202 event for the re-booked fight between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, though they ran into a hiccup with Diaz this week.
Penick’s Analysis: This is a really good fight from a matchup standpoint, though I’m certainly not sure if Alves can make lightweight. He’s had trouble enough making welterweight on occasion, so cutting that extra 15 lbs. doesn’t seem like something he’s capable of doing safely, but if he can make it without any ill effects then I suppose good for him. As for Iaquinta, it’s a chance to get past another well known name as he tries to work his way up the ladder.
[Photo (c) Jason Silva via USA Today Sports]
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