Jon Fitch vs Thiago Alves Betting Odds and Analysis for UFC 117

By Paul Tuesday, August 03, 2010
UFC 117:  Jon Fitch (-105 Bodog) vs Thiago Alves (-120 BetUS)

How quickly we seem to forget the past. I know 2006 may be way outside your short term memory, but take a little journey back with me. Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves met up for the first time at UFN 5 at the Hard Rock Cafe with about 17 people in the audience to witness the outcome. It was Fitch's 3rd fight in the UFC and Thiago's 4th.

Fitch controlled the fight from start to finish, striking and throwing kicks from the outside setting up the clinch or quick single leg take downs. From the dominant position he pummeled Alves and attempted several RnC's. Late in the 2nd round Alves escaped from the ground, tried to throw standing in Fitch's guard but got caught with an upkick. Fitch quickly took advantage, mounting Thiago and pounding him out for the TKO.

Fast forward to 2008-9, both fighters go on big win streaks and land shots at GSP's belt. Both succumbed to "Frenchy". Fitch was beaten by speed, technique, and power. Alves was beaten by speed, wrestling, and maybe will. Fitch has come back to win three straight, Alves is fresh off his loss to Georges.

Watching the videos of Fitch vs Alves and GSP vs Alves, it's surprising how similar the fights are. Alves showed the same holes in his game against GSP that Fitch exploited so well in 2006. Namely, staying outside throwing strong jabs and kicks and not rushing into an exchange were Alves can utilize his wicked counters. This gameplan causes Alves to be over aggressive, reaching for strikes and setting himself up for takedowns. From the top both Fitch and GSP are bigger, stronger, and much more skilled at controlling the action.

Another interesting tidbit from the UFN 5 video, Alves was listed as having a 77" reach (that's a 6' 5" wing span), but when he fought Lytle, GSP etc… his reach was listed at 68", Wow! he lost almost a foot of reach? Fitch has been listed between 74-78" over the last 5 years. Funny enough, the height of both has not changed - Alves is 5'9" and Fitch is 6'0".

Long story short, Fitch already has a decisive win over Alves. Thiago has shown that he can handle  aggressive wrestler/grapplers (Kos, Hughes, Parisyan) but when he meets someone with GSP or Fitch's skill set he hasn't found the answer.

Pick:  Fitch via decision, Bet: 210 to win 200 at Bodog

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I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

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