A potentially explosive welterweight clash between Thiago Alves and Jordan Mein has been set for UFC Fight Night 49. The two standout strikers will look to continue their rise up the 170-pound ladder when they square off on August 23 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Pitbull” is a former title challenger who is hoping to make one more serious run. His high point in the promotion was at UFC 100 back in 2009 when he had a title opportunity against Georges St-Pierre. Alves lost via a lopsided unanimous decision and was plagued by inconsistency and injury issues since that time. He made a triumphant return at UFC on FOX 11 in Orlando after being sidelined by two years. Alves showed little Octagon rust in earning a hard-fought unanimous decision win in a spirited clash against Seth Baczynski. It earned both competitors bonuses for the Fight of the Night.
Alves has compiled a 12-6 record during his lengthy UFC tenure. He owns notable wins over Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck, John Howard and Chris Lytle. Alves will be in search of back-to-back wins for the first time since 2008 and could move into top-15 territory with another successful effort.
The 24-year old Mein is seasoned well beyond his years having fought a whopping 37 times. He’s 2-1 in his UFC stint with that lone loss coming against red-hot welterweight Matt Brown in a thrilling and brutal battle at UFC on FOX 7. “Young Gun” made a strong impression in his Octagon debut at UFC 158 by becoming the first man to ever stop Dan Miller.
Mein returned after a one-year absence from UFC to FOX 11 in Orlando and earned a split-decision victory over Hernani Perpetuo. The talented Canadian prospect has 22 finishes by knockout or submission in his 28 career victories and has faced some strong competition including the likes of Tyron Woodley. Mein dropped a split-decision verdict to the current no.3-ranked UFC welterweight when they were fighting under the Strikeforce banner.
Both fighters rely heavily on their stand-up games which should make for a highly entertaining and violent clash. Alves is hoping to become a major force once again in the 170-pound division while Mein gets the chance to raise his profile if he can secure the biggest win of his career.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports