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Thiago Alves to test market after Means bout, wants 45 fights on record before retiring

Welterweight vet Thiago Alves has some plans for the future before considering retiring from the sport.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Fortaleza-Alves vs Griffin Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves will have the last fight of his current contract on Saturday night, but that does not mean the veteran is considering retirement after the match. Paired up against Tim Means at UFC on ESPN 7, ‘Pitbull’ has some plans for his future, be it in the UFC or not.

In an interview with Ag Fight, the 36-year-old revealed that he does not plan on retiring before achieving the mark of 45 professional bouts. Alves, whose record stands at 23-14, would need nine more contests to reach his goal.

“I want to have at least 45 fight under my belt, I’m thrilled about everything that is happening in my life. After I beat up Tim Means, I’ll see what I’ll do. It’s the last fight on my contract. I haven’t spoken to anyone yet (from the UFC or other promotions). If I choose to renew it, I think I’ll be able to, I have a good relationship with everybody. But I want to see what the market looks like outside the UFC. I fought here my whole life.”

For his fight against Means, a muay thai striker with a similar arsenal to Thiago’s, Alves plans to show more aggression and dictate the pace of the fight, pressuring the ‘Dirty Bird’ and giving him no room to work his strikes.

“He’s a tough guy, a good striker, southpaw, much taller than me. I want to get into his reach, I don’t want to be too far because then he’ll have an advantage. I’ll mix a lot of things up, I’ll make him guess what I’ll do. Closing the distance is key. The idea is to start out early, I usually spend too much analyzing. Now I’ll go into striking and not just react. I want to be more aggressive from the start until the end.”

In his last outing, Thiago Alves dropped a unanimous decision to Laureano Staropoli. That was back in May, at UFC 237. The loss came after a split decision victory over Max Griffin in February, at UFC Fortaleza.

Now, Pitbull is expected to meet Tim Means at UFC on ESPN 7, in Washington, D.C., on December 7. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.