Thiago Alves Out Of UFC 111 Rematch With Jon FitchA planned rematch between UFC welterweight contenders Thiago “Pitbull” Alves and Jon Fitch has been cancelled once again. Alves was forced to withdraw from this Saturday’s UFC 111 card after a CT scan showed irregularities in his brain. Fitch will remain on the card and will face late replacement Ben “Killa B” Saunders.

Alves was previously set to meet Fitch for the second time at UFC 107, but was forced to withdraw after tearing the PCL in his knee. Fitch won the pair’s first bout by TKO at UFC Fight Night 5 in 2006.

Alves (16-6-0) won seven straight fights after the 2006 loss to Fitch and picked up victories over the likes of former long-time champion Matt Hughes and top contender Josh Koscheck along the way. Known for his devastating Muay Thai, Alves has racked up ten victories by knockout and was thought to be the toughest test for UFC Welterweight Champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre. However, he dropped a lopsided five-round decision to St. Pierre at UFC 100. The “irregularity” on Alves’s CT scan is said to not be serious, but he was unable to obtain proper licensing in time to compete on Saturday.

Fitch (21-3-0, 1 NC) made his UFC debut in 2005 and immediately picked up a big victory over one-time WEC title challenger Brock Larson. He went on to win eight straight fights in the UFC, which included victories over Alves and Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez. Like Alves, Fitch was soundly beaten by St. Pierre in a five-round title fight at UFC 87, but he has since rebounded with three decision wins. The loss to St. Pierre was Fitch’s only defeat in his last 21 fights dating back to 2003. He will now face another Muay Thai practitioner in Saunders.

Saunders (8-1-2) was scheduled to face Jake Ellenberger on Saturday’s UFC 111 card, but will now face off with Fitch in the biggest fight of his career. In a very classy move, the UFC will pay Ellenberger both his Show and Win purses now that he will no longer be competing on Saturday. Saunders sports a 4-1 record in the UFC and is coming off of a huge knockout win over former contender Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis at UFC 106. With vicious knees and a lethal Thai clinch, Saunders could pose a tough test for Fitch, but will enter the fight on very short notice as an underdog.

UFC 111 takes place this Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The event is headlined by a UFC Welterweight Championship bout between Georges “Rush” St. Pierre and Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy. A lightweight battle between Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino and Fabricio “Morango” Camoes has been moved up to the PPV portion of the card due to the loss of the Saunders-Ellenberger fight.


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