GSP vs Thiago Alves – The Champions Toughest Test to Date
To be honest, the Georges St. Pierre-Thiago Alves welterweight title fight at UFC 100 sells itself. But the fine marketing folks at the organization are renowned for their ability to hype up a fight, and the angle they chose going into the GSP-Alves clash was that Alves is the toughest challenge St. Pierre has faced in his career.
That’s right, tougher than Matt Hughes in his prime and tougher than BJ Penn.
And in reality, they might be right. Alves is the real deal; a powerful, violent striker with knockout power in his hands and especially his knees and a good matchup stylistically with GSP.
But despite all that, Alves still finds himself as an underdog to St. Pierre at BetUS. GSP is going off as a -300 to +220 favorite in the UFC betting lines in this fight as he looks to continue to stake his claim as one of the top fighters in MMA regardless of weight class.
The one area that Alves won’t have an advantage in, however, is the strength department despite the UFC’s pre-fight boastings to the contrary.
From an overall standpoint, I’ll take GSP’s strong, explosive wrestling base over Alves’ powerful upper body any day of the week.
That could be the key to the fight as well: whether or not GSP can get the fight to the ground and use his flexibility and hip explosion to put Alves in dangerous positions for a ground-and-pound clinic.
Alves took out welterweight contender Karo Parisyan with a brutal, well-timed knee to put him down for good in their fight, but GSP is a much faster and more technical wrestler than most fighters Alves has seen.
GSP can also hold his own on his feet as his dedication to his overall striking game and his heady boxing skills will allow him to duck-and-weave and stay out of trouble.
While Alves has a ton of potential as a underdog winner here thanks to his ability to land that one big blow, GSP is just too well-rounded and hungry at this stage of his career for the younger, less experienced Alves.
Just take a look at how nervous Alves was when he jumped into the Octagon after GSP’s win over BJ Penn (accidentally stating he wanted a “shitle tot”) for evidence as to what Alves’ nerves could do to him on the biggest card in the history of UFC betting this Saturday in Las Vegas).
Alves will hang in with GSP for a while, but expect St.-Pierre to eventually wear him down and punish him in the later rounds for a TKO victory and another successful title defense at UFC 100.