He fought GSP for the UFC welterweight title but came up short, at the 100th installment of the promotion, in July 2009. Since then, Brazil’s Thiago Alves has seen highs and lows, losing two of his last three appearances and winning one. This Saturday in Birmingham, England, the Thai boxing ace will again be put to the test, taking on UFC first-timer Papy Abedi. Another loss could cost Pitbull his place in the octagon, but he knows what to do.
“I’ve made up my mind, I don’t want to lose a single fight. I control my destiny, and I took the reins on my actions and everything that happens in my life. That’s that. I’m going to take care of my present and future, and I won’t lose any more fights. I put the work in, and now I just want to get in there and show my best. I know I’m at my best and no one can stop me,” he is quoted as saying on the UFC website.
Still sore about his loss to Rick Story at UFC 130 last May, Thiago doesn’t want to give the judges any work to do in his fights. “I really learned a lot there. I trained so much and thought I’d have an easy fight. But when I finally got to fighting, it was too late; I only showed my game in the final round, so there was no turning things around. I lost the first round, but I still feel I won the second round my a small margin, and I won the third. So I couldn’t believe the result, but I learned never to let anyone determine the result for me. I’m going to take control. Now I’m aiming at becoming a more versatile fighter,” asserted Pitbull.
“They don’t want to stand and bang with me anymore, so I have to improve in other areas. I’ve done that before, and it’s just a question of time before I do so again. I’m going to go out there and take what I want; it’s just a question of time. I just need to be patient and take action when need be,” he said in conclusion.
In the lead-up to this decisive matchup, GRACIEMAG.com caught up with Master Evilázio Feitoza, the man who discovered and was first coach to Thiago Pitbull. The Thai boxing master, who has trained MMA stars like Gabriel Napão in the past, addressed his thoughts on his former student’s part performances and what he expects from him at UFC 138.
Check out the full interview with Master Evilázio in Portuguese in the following video and the transcription in English further down the page:
“He was one of the first boys who came to train with me, and I soon realized he was a diamond in the rough. So we started lapidating him. By the time he was 14 or 15 we sent him to compete, and at just 15 he made his professional debut, at a Thai boxing event where he beat a seasoned fighter from Recife.
So we kept working with him and he met with success at a lot of events while still a minor – him even lying about his age so they’d let him compete. We didn’t have a lot of resources then, but I’d go over K-1 videos with him – in those days it wasn’t so easy finding footage as it is today, with the internet.
Then, when he was 19, he took off to make a life for himself in the United States, at American Top Team. There he made and is still making a career for himself.
Now, he’s 26, still young, still has lots of potential. He’s slipped up a few times recently. Now he has different coaches, has a different way of fighting that’s quite different from what I was familiar with. He hasn’t been using the tools he used to use, which came from muay Thai. The way I see it, he only blocks, doesn’t defend, and that’s made things difficult for him.
Now I hope he can get back on his feet, since this next fight is against a striker, so he’ll be able to show his muay Thai and come out the victor.”