Blog Entry

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

Posted on: July 11, 2009 11:09 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2009 11:52 pm
Based on the weigh-in yesterday, this may be the fight on the card with the most interest live. St. Pierre is likely the most popular fighter in the UFC, a spectacularly athletic French Canadian who is excellent in all aspects of the game and particularly in wrestling. He is also one of the nicest people in the sport, a respectful, thoughtful fighter who represents the sport well. Thiago Alves is a muay thai striking powerhouse, with devastating knees, kicks and punches. He is on a prolonged winning streak with knockout wins over the likes of Matt Hughes and Karo Parisyan. Alves in all likelihood holds the edge in the standup where he is extremely dangerous, but the big question is whether St. Pierre can keep the fight on the ground and keep Alves on his back.

Alves, a Brazilian national who has lived in the United States for many years, has a Brazilian flag prominently featured on his shorts to emphasize his heritage. Brazil and the United States are likely the most successful countries in producing top level MMA talent. The crowd begins to chant for GSP as Alves enters the cage and erupts as he comes out. Alves is pacing back and forth in his corner like a caged animal.

Round 1. The fighters touch gloves and feel each other out. The crowd chants for GSP. Alves throws a left high kick and then low right kick that knocks St. Pierre off balance. GSP goes for a takedown. Alves goes down, gets right back up, and then is slammed right back down. GSP is in the half guard of Alves. Alves looks to power right back up. He fails the first time but succeeds the second. Alves early on is showing remarkable ability to get up, but St. Pierre takes him down again and grabs his back. St. Pierre has the hooks in and is looking for an RNC. Alves gets out. On the feet, St. Pierre throws some punches and mixes in leg kicks. He is much more active, while Alves is looking to find the right opening. St. Pierre went for a shot, but Alves brushed it off as easily as I've ever seen anyone brush off a GSP takedown attempt. The crowd almost certainly recognizes that, as it goes quiet in an awful hurry. People realize there could be trouble here for their favorite. Alves finally moves in with some power shots, a power punch and high kick, but GSP uses the opportunity to get a takedown. Alves is down for a little bit, but gets up at the close of the round. 10-9 St. Pierre, but Alves looks menacing here.

Round 2. Alves moves in with punches, while GSP circles. Alves throws an overhand left that just misses and GSP escapes to the outside. GSP lands a low kick, a superman punch, and another low kick. He takes Alves down again. We'll see how long he can keep him down. GSP passes guard and mounts Alves, but Alves immediately escapes. Alves is ging to be very tough to contain in mount. Side control is probably the optimal position for him. GSP lands some punches from the top and this is his first effective period of ground and pound in the fight. GSP is posturing up and throwing down big bombs on Alves. Alves is no long powering out with ease like he once was. GSP continues to throw down punches and looks to pass guard but he isn't having success in passing. As St. Pierre finally does pass, Alves immediately gets up, so maybe GSP is best off just retaining guard and working from there. They clinch and break as the second round comes to a close. 10-9 St. Pierre. The big factor here now is Alves' cardio. If he can retain significant energy, he will continue to be a dangerous force here with KO power. If he can't, GSP will likely take over very soon.

Round 3. Alves moves in with punches, and is throwing more aggressively. St. Pierre goes for a takedown but Alves blocks. Alves is walking down St. Pierre and loading up for a big shot, but St. Pierre's defense is very solid. Alves lands a nice leg kick and goes for a head kick. Alves looks to land a punch in close proximity, but St. Pierre switches levels and takes him down. St. Pierre uses some ground and pound on Alves, but nothing is landing hard. Alves gets back up again. Alves moves in with hooks and lands some of his best punches of the fight. St. Pierre has his composure perfectly but that's a dangerous place to be. Someone gets rocked finally, but it's not GSP but Alves. GSP lands a left/right combination and the second shot drops Alves and stuns him. St. Pierre immediately drops down with hard elbows at the close of the round. 10-9 St. Pierre.

Round 4. GSP throws some jabs, and then goes for a swift takedown that he very quickly secures. That's the easiest Alves has gone down in the fight, and GSP is looking for an arm triangle choke. Alves avoids, but in the transition GSP goes for an RNC. Alves avoids that and ends up on top. Alves immediately throws down a big punch, while St. Pierre looks to elevate him with butterfly guard. Alves is able to open up with some punches on a grounded GSP. GSP stands up, but Alves immediately moves in with hooks looking to land with something big. St. Pierre is jabbing on the outside while Alves moves in looking for power shots. Alves throws a kick which St. Pierre catches, and St. Pierre follows with a punch and takedown. Alves immediately moves to get up, but GSP throws a knee to the body ala his second fight with Matt Serra. GSP gets the hooks and looks to close with the rear naked choke but the round ends. 10-9 St. Pierre, but that was a close one.

Round 5. Alves needs to finish, but that seems as likely as I can ever recall when one guy is down four rounds to none. Alves keeps moving in with overhand punches and high kicks. It's kind of like Dan Henderson, but St. Pierre has better Octagon awareness than Bisping, who kept bumping into the cage and not having any room to move out of the way of the big right. St. Pierre scores a takedown but Alves again gets right back up. St. Pierre shoot again. Alves defends but St. Pierre follows through and gets it. St. Pierre retains control briefly, but Alves gets back up. St. Pierre then takes him down again. Sound familiar? St. Pierre has top position and the crowd cheers as one minute is left, anticipating that St. Pierre will "escape" with a 50-45 decision. With 10 seconds left, the often nervous crowd finally gets excited and cheers loudly as St. Pierre escapes the danger zone. 10-9 St. Pierre, 50-45 St. Pierre.

When St. Pierre beat Matt Hughes or Jon Fitch or B.J. Penn, he did it so with such domination that you thought that the other guy didn't belong with him. Here, Alves made it clear that he belonged with St. Pierre and was a danger throughout. But St. Pierre still avoided that danger and picked up another huge win.

Winner: Georges St. Pierre, unanimous 50-45, 50-44, 50-45 decision.

St. Pierre suffered some sort of injury in the third round but kept going. Joe Rogan asks St. Pierre about moving up to 185 pounds to fight Anderson Silva. The crowd roars in approval, but St. Pierre doesn't seem enamored with the idea, noting he isn't that big.

Category: Mixed Martial Arts

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2009 11:20 pm

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

I have watched that fight twice now and I still dont see any point in that fight where Alves looked like he belonged in there more than Hughes (in fight 2 and 3) or Fitch really. He got dominated from begining to end and other then a minute or so in the fourth round Alves had nothing for GSP. He got taken down with out any resistance.

Don't believe the hype.

Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2009 11:21 pm

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

Todd, were you watching the same fight as I was? "Alves was a danger throughout" Huh? Did you see Alves' face afterwards. He was a danger simply because he was able to get back up? Did he perform slightly better than all of the others? I suppose so - but he was still thoroughly dominated. I guess you are reaching for anything at this point since St. Pierre has been so dominant against consistently top-flight competition.

Since: Sep 30, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2009 4:21 pm

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

while i do think Kosh, Fitch and Alves are closer to GSP's level, i'd much rather see Swick in title fight since he presents the biggest threat to GSP.  Rush has shown he can neutralize strength, wrestling, bjj and so far everything...   it seems like 'punchers chance' may be the best bet against GSP so far (again, not saying Swick is better than the other truly great fighters in WW that would be champions in other non-GSP era)...   while Swick does not have the strength, wrestling and BJJ, one thing 'Quick' has shown is that once he 'dazes' a guy with a quick strike, he'll CAPITALIZE ON THE OPPORTUNITY IN BLINK OF AN EYE AND THROWN dozens of punches in what seems like 2 seconds...  now GSP may be so technical that Swick never gets that 'split second' window of opportunity to shower GSP with many punches...   but so far, Swick has shown more of that 'killer instinct to finish a fighter, even though he's had less strength, wrestling, bjj than the other great WW fighters.

other than Demian Maia, Silva has no real threat (i still think Maia will just jump onto Silva and wrap his body and fall on his own back...  crazy dangerous technique, but Maia's won consecutive fights intentionally falling on his back).  and i'm crazy enough to put my money on Maia...   my rationale says no, but the Maia's past submission clips have me mesmorized to argue against it...

but if all goes as predicts, do we have a choice BUT TO SEE GSP VS SPIDER?  at least after max 2 more title defenses (for both fighters)

after last fight, i'm now convinced that GSP can take even Dan Henderson down at will, which means i honestly think GSP can take Spider down at will....   yeah it sounds crazy, but i didn't think anyone would make, Alves, in-prime-Hughes, Penn, Fitch down as easy has GSP has...   he seems to have perfected all aspects of takedown...   sudden-explosive-burst, follow through strength, able to time the takedown while dodging puches-weaking the strikes by putting that little fear...   i just don't think even the Spider than counter the takedown attempts once GSP gets 1 or 2 TD's to tire Silva out...

besides, Rashad Evans has claimed that GSP's takedown offense/defense is so good that he can't take GSP down, while he gets taken down all the time by GSP...   i thought he was just BS-ing to prop up a friend, but now i'm not so sure anymore...

GSP beats Silva knees to the body (think GSP-Serra II) in round 3...   (round 2 if it's a catchweight at 180)

Since: May 13, 2008
Posted on: July 12, 2009 1:55 am

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

There's no clear choice. That was the big post-fight discussion among journalists. Among the possibilities mentioned were Mike Swick, the winner of Koscheck/Trigg, maybe a rematch with Thiago Alves, Anderson Silva, or someone else moving down from middleweight. Neither GSP nor Dana White seems to have a clear idea of what they want to do.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2009 1:30 am

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

GSP said moving uyp to fight Anderson Silva would be about the personal challenge and not winning a different title. GSP does not have to prove his status by fighting the spider. He has plenty of competition in his weight class. Silva's walking around weight is supposedly around 225. That is way out of his range.

Todd, who do you think GSP fights next?

Since: May 13, 2008
Posted on: July 12, 2009 12:05 am

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

Thanks. Glad you are enjoying.

Since: Jul 17, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2009 11:52 pm

Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

Nice blog Todd! It felt like I was there watching the fight in person! Much appreciated!

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