Before the oft-injured Jose Aldo pulled out of his fight with Chad Mendes, another talented but oft-injured Brazilian also had to bow out of his upcoming fight. Yesterday the UFC confirmed an undisclosed injury has forced Thiago Alves out of a main card meeting with Jordan Mein on August 23rd in Tulsa. The plus side for fans is that they found a highly formidable (if not better) replacement in Brandon Thatch, who has yet to fight this year.
Thatch (11-1) hasn't lost since his 2nd pro fight way back in 2008. His last 10 fights have all ended in stoppage victories, with none of them lasting longer than 4 minutes and 12 seconds. The 28-year-old has fought twice in the UFC, dismantling Justin Edwards in his debut before making Paulo Thiago tap out due to a wicked knee to the body.
Again, this really just shows the strength of the welterweight division when you can have so many exciting match-ups even well outside the top 15 and have the depth to salvage fights with suitable replacements. Mein may be 24 years old, but he's been competing professionally for 8 years and has fought multiple veterans and future contenders (such as Rory MacDonald, Tyron Woodley, Jason High, and Josh Burkman) to the point where calling him a prospect is just about incorrect. This is quite possibly Thatch's toughest opponent to date and it should be a great fight with copious amounts of violence to satiate the appetite of the viewing audience.