At UFC 130 there’s an important match in the welterweight division, with Thiago “Pitbull” Alves (18-7 with 11 KO’s) vs Rick “The Horror” Story (12-3 with 3 KO’s) squaring off inside the Octagon.
Thiago Alves is the more experienced fighter who has been battle tested against some of the UFC’s biggest stars including Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre. Alves is a Muay Thai specialist who prefers to breakdown his opponents with his vicious stand up game. Alves has impressive victories over Josh Koscheck and UFC Hall of Famer, Matt Hughes but otherwise has ran into problems against fighters who have been focused on taking him down and controlling him on the ground. Most famously that was the case against Georges St. Pierre but it was also true in both his fights against Jon Fitch. Both Fitch and St. Pierre put the “Pitbull” on his back at will.
Unfortunately for Alves, Rick Story is an up and coming wrestler who will once again test Alves in the takedown department. He’s hoping to use his wrestling and ground game to wear down and frustrate Alves. He’ll enter the fight on a 5 win streak and although he has little experience against high caliber opponents he’ll be hoping to control Alves in much the same way he did at UFC 103 when he defeated Brian Foster earning him a submission of the night award. It’s all on the line for Story, as defeating a former number one contender would help secure him a spot among the division’s elite.
The match-up comes down to striking vs wrestling when the iron will of Rick Story collides with the tenacity of Thiago Alves. Both men will enter the Octagon confident in their two completely different styles and game plans. Alves, the dangerous Muay Thai knockout artist who’s strikes have cut down many men will want to keep this fight standing and hopes to score his first KO in three years. To do so he will rely on his vast experience and precise striking to pick apart Rick “The Horror” Story using Muay Thai kicks and powerful knees to the body and head.
For Story it’s a big step up in competition, perhaps too big at this time in his career. He lacks the experience, strength and power to tame the “Pitbull” . Look for Thiago Alves to out strike and over power Rick Story eventually busting him up enough with vicious knee strikes to set up the knock out blow that stops Rick Story near the end of round two.
Prediction: Thiago Alves to defeat Rick Story by knockout in round two
Tags: Georges St. Pierre, jon fitch, Josh Koscheck, Mixed Martial Arts, Rick Story, Thiago Alves, UFC 130, UFC Welterweight division