I was blown away when I found out that Thiago Alves was the underdog in his fight against Josh Koscheck. To me, Kos was like Matt Hughes Jr but even easier. So am I being unreasonable when I say that Thiago Alves should have beat Koscheck more definitively? All the judges who knew what they were watching gave the fight to Thiago 30-27, but in my opinion he passed up three chances to finish Koscheck off.
I suppose this is what happens when you promise someone a title shot: they decide to play it safe rather than go in for the kill. No one wants to get Pete Sell’d on the way in. Every time Thiago had Koscheck on the ropes (figuratively) he would pull back. I was impressed when he jumped out of Koscheck’s spine-reaction takedowns, but then he kept reversing, letting Koscheck get on the offensive and regain his wits.
Regardless, Thiago came out and dominated the fight for the most part. The funny thing about how he wasn’t aggressive enough: he was actually at his worst when he was fighting this way, giving Koscheck the breathing space he needed to regroup and mount an offense. But past that … great striking, great leg kicks, great takedown defense. He needs to lay off the superman punches, but overall I was impressed.
As for a title shot … unless Alves wants to sit out for 6 months waiting for GSP or BJ Penn to feel like fighting after their January bout, I expect we’ll see him back in the octagon for one more fight before a title shot. He said he’s been a ‘good boy’ lately, but it’s been too soon since he came in over weight … and since he got a drug suspension.