Thiago Alves celebrates his win over Papy Abedi at UFC 138. Image via UFC.com
Thiago Alves is coming off a very good win over a solid prospect, but he's not going to get much respect for it. That's the way it goes when you beat a fighter that is off most people's radar like Papy Abedi, no matter how good he is. But now that he has that win, he's looking at bigger and better things. When asked by ESPN UK about a possible fight with rising star Jake Ellenberger, Alves was diplomatic:
"That would be a great fight," he said to ESPN. "But like I said, whoever Joe Silva wants me to fight, I'm ready for it.
"I know I'm a few fights away from title contention, so whoever brings me closer - I'm ready."
While there has been a lot of talk about Ellenberger facing Diego Sanchez when he returns from his hand injury, I think Alves vs. Ellenberger is an even better matchup. Diego's a great fighter, but he doesn't have the standup or the takedown defense that Alves does, and Alves is a bigger and better challenge overall. Who would you rather see Jake Ellenberger face, folks?