MOSCOW – Alexey Kunchenko is one of many fighters getting UFC shine with the promotion new alliance with former rival M-1 Global.
In exchange for helping the UFC get into Russia, a long-coveted market for the industry-leader, M-1 gives fighters like Kunchenko the chance to compete on the world’s biggest MMA stage when UFC Fight Night 136 takes place Saturday at Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
Kunchenko (18-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), M-1’s undefeated welterweight champion, stands to get a big pop if he’s able to stroll into the octagon and beat Thiago Alves (22-12 MMA, 14-9 UFC), a onetime UFC welterweight title challenger and a staple of the promotion’s marquee division for over one decade.
For Alves, Kunchenko brings to the cage some certainties about his skill set. And apparently, he also brings some questions about his methods behind the scenes.
“When they lock that cage, he’s going to see a (expletive) pitbull hungry in front of him,” Alves told MMAjunkie in advance of the UFC Fight Pass-streamed card. “So let’s see how he deals with it.
“I have a lot of respect for him. Anybody that’s 18-0 is good, but the skills that he possesses, it’s pretty much similar to everybody in the weight class. It’s nothing I haven’t seen 1000 times over and over again.
“And, we’ve got USADA in play. Hopefully USADA did its job and did what it’s supposed to do.”
Alves, who himself once ran afoul of doping control measures, clearly doesn’t think much of M-1’s anti-doping program. He isn’t making any direct accusations, mind you. But the added insurance policy USADA provides against bad actors is something he’s thinking about.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Thiago Alves on fighting Alexey Kunchenko at UFC Moscow: Hopefully USADA worked