UFC welterweight Thiago Alves has decided to take a bit of a break from MMA. The former top contender was expected to face off with Yoshihiro Akiyama, then Siyar Bahadurzada back at UFC 149 in July but had to pull out after tearing his pec, which requited surgery. He has now put out a statement saying he won't be returning until the middle of next year (via BuddhaSport)
"Following my chest surgery, my management and myself have decided to take this year off to fix my left knee as well as all my other little injuries to come back stronger than ever in 2013 to make another run for the title and get it this time. I should be back by June 2013."
Alves (19-9) hasn't fared too well since a decision loss to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100, going just 2-3 since then. His last bout was a late loss to Martin Kampmann at UFC on FX 2 in March, in a bout he was controlling until an ill-advised takedown attempt in the third round got him stuck in a guillotine. He's long been known as one of the better strikers in the division.