The injury bug has again bitten former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves, and as a result, he’s been forced out of a scheduled clash against Jordan Mein at Fight Night 49. Alves heads back to the sidelines again after making a successful Octagon return against Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11. It was the Brazilian’s first fight in two years because of an injury-related absence. With Alves scratched, talented prospect Brandon Thatch has gotten the call to square off against Mein on August 23 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Thatch has kicked off his UFC tenure in destructive fashion with back-to-back first-round knockout victories over Justin Edwards and Paulo Thiago. Since suffering a loss in his second career fight, “Rukus” has produced 10 consecutive first-round finishes. He’s 11-1 in his career with all of those victories having come inside the opening round by either knockout or submission. He has an aggressive style and possesses tremendous striking skills. Thatch is a vicious closer who shapes up as a formidable challenge for the 24-year-old Mein.
“Young Gun” has already fought 37 times in his career and has posted a 2-1 UFC record. That lone loss came in a tremendous back-and-forth battle against Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 7. Mein sustained a broken nose and orbital bone in that second-round TKO loss and was on the shelf for nearly a year. He returned in successful fashion against Hernani Perpetuo at UFC on FOX 11 by recording a split-decision victory. He has faced solid competition at a young age and has recorded 22 knockout or submission wins in 28 career victories.
Both Thatch and Mein are hungry and motivated prospects who have designs on becoming legitimate future contenders in the 170-pound division. They possess standout striking skills and entertaining fighting styles. It’s a matchup that has the makings of producing an absolute war for as long as it lasts.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports