Fitch-Alves Rematch To Serve As Title EliminatorThis Saturday’s UFC 117 rematch between welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Thiago “Pitbull” Alves will serve as a title eliminator bout. UFC President Dana White confirmed the news today and stated that the winner will face either Georges “Rush” St. Pierre or Josh Koscheck.

Fitch won the pair’s first meeting in June of 2006 by stopping Alves with an upkick and follow-up punches. Both fighters are undefeated since that time, save for five-round decision losses to reigning champion St. Pierre. Alves has not competed since the St. Pierre title fight at UFC 100 last July.

Fitch (22-3-0, 1 NC) sports a stellar 12-1 record inside the Octagon and has won four straight fights since losing to St. Pierre. However, fans have been critical of Fitch’s workmanlike style and his last seven fights have all gone the distance. A second victory over Alves could erase all doubts, but Fitch would face an interesting situation if his American Kickboxing Academy teammate, Koscheck, is able to dethrone St. Pierre. Fitch would then have to fight his teammate for the title.

Alves (16-6-0), who has been busy cutting a significant amount of weight this week, won seven fights in a row after the setback against Fitch and already holds a win over Koscheck. Like Fitch, he was unable to mount much of any offence against St. Pierre and suffered a one-sided decision loss. Ring rust could be a factor this Saturday, as Alves has not competed since the St. Pierre fight over a year ago. Should Alves be victorious, he will move on to rematch either St. Pierre or Koscheck.

UFC 117: “Silva vs Sonnen” takes place this Saturday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The event is headlined by a UFC Middleweight Championship bout between champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva and outspoken challenger Chael Sonnen.



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