FORTALEZA, Brazil – Thiago Alves knows what it’s like to have his back against the wall. He’s lost four of five going into UFC on ESPN+ 2 but hopes past experiences will help him rebound.
Moreover, Alves (22-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) has additional motivation. Saturday’s fight against Max Griffin (14-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC) takes place in his hometown of Fortaleza, Brazil, and that combination should give the former UFC title challenger what he needs to get a definitive win.
“I’ve been here before,” Alves told MMAjunkie. “Unfortunately, I’ve lost more times in my career than I would like to, but it’s just another day. That’s in the past. The best way to vanish whatever is going on with those losses is to get a win. No better way to break this curse of inconsistency than in my home town in Fortaleza.”
UFC on ESPN+ 2 goes down at Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, with the entire event set to stream on ESPN+.
Although Alves, who has been part of the UFC roster since October 2005, is on a slide in his career in terms of results, he’s still never lost three bouts in a row. He sees Griffin as a favorable fight to keep that trend in tact.
“He’s a very good opponent, aggressive and has a very good gas tank,” Alves said. “But I think I’m the perfect matchup for him. I think I’m going to be able to capitalize on all his mistakes and I’m going to make him pay for it and get him out of there.”
Alves may be in a dangerous spot, but there’s nothing outside of excitement on his end. “The Pitbull” has lived in the U.S. for many years, so any chance to return home is meaningful. He wants to put on a show for his fans and predicts a second-round submission of Griffin.
“Pressure just comes with the territory,” Alves said. “It’s a privilege to be able to fight at home with MMA being so popular right now. When I left here, MMA was not even close to what is today. I’m very excited, I’m very well prepared, and I know I’m going to get the victory.”
To hear more from Alves, check out the video above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Thiago Alves expects UFC Fortaleza homecoming to break 'curse of inconsistency'