THIAGO ALVES (15-5-0) vs. RICK STORY (12-3-0)
Mixed Martial Arts – UFC 130
Welterweight (170 lbs) Bout
Saturday, May 28, 9:00 p.m. EDT
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Line: ALVES -200, STORY +160
UFC welterweights Thiago Alves and Rick Story will clash on the UFC 130 Main Card, this Saturday, May 28 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Vegas odds.
Alves (27 years old) is a perennial contender. He’s been considered a top fighter since beating Karo Parisyan and Matt Hughes in consecutive fights in 2008. He has since unsuccessfully challenged Georges St. Pierre for the UFC title, and lost to Jon Fitch, the man universally considered the No. 2 welterweight in the world. Out of the ring, Alves has had his share of issues. While he was preparing for the fight with Fitch, a potentially life-threatening brain blood vessel anomaly postponed the bout four times. He’s also struggled with making weight, blowing the weigh-ins at UFC 85 and 117. He had no trouble making weight in his last fight against John Howard at UFC 124. He didn’t struggle much with Howard either, winning a unanimous decision. Betting lines.
After losing his UFC debut in 2009, Ricky Story reeled off five straight UFC wins. Wins included defeating fan-favorite Dustin Hazelett at UFC 117 and then taking a unanimous decision over previously-undefeated Johny Hendricks. Experts consider that the most impressive mark on his resume thus far. Alves will present another big test for Story and a win here will make his name even more recognizable in the UFC hierarchy.
This bout should come down two things: Story’s ability to hang with Alves on the feet and Story’s ability to put Alves on his back and keep him there. If Story can accomplish both of these things, I like his chances to pull off the upset. That sounds obvious, but in UFC the obvious it what decides these matches. If Story cannot do those things, it will be a long night for him. Sports scores.
Saying that, I just don’t think Story is at Alves’ level just yet. He is getting there and is definitely a name to remember, but he might need another fight or two to get to the next plateau. I’m taking ALVES at -200.