Veteran UFC welterweight Thiago Alves is no longer just a fighter.
Thiago Alves has a new role at American Top Team.
A UFC fighter since 2005 who has reached the top of the sport, Alves accepted a coaching position at the Coconut Creek, Florida gym after his April win over Patrick Cote at UFC 210. The position opened up after some changes in the coaching staff were made, per the Brazilian. MMAFighting.com first reported the news Wednesday.
“After my last fight, (American Top Team co-founder) Dan (Lambert) asked me if I wanted to start helping the new generation of ATT fighters, and I accepted it. I live close to the gym and I’m here every day for 14 years, so it made sense.”
Alves, who rebounded in the Cote fight (which also marked his return to 170 pounds) from a two-fight skid that consisted of losses to Jim Miller and Carlos Condit, has no plans to retire. He is set to fight rising welterweight Mike Perry at UFC Fight Night 116 in September. When he’s getting ready for a fight, he said, his focus is on that; when nothing is scheduled, his focus is on coaching his new students.
Alves, 33, has fought professionally since 2001, but becoming a coach has changed the way he sees mixed martial arts, he said.
“Since I’m teaching fighters now, you see the sport in a different way,” he said. “I study the techniques more, the things I have to teach them. It’s great for my career, my fight IQ is going way up. I see things that I didn’t pay attention before. It brings me a new energy and more responsibility because now I’m an example. The things I do in there will show my athletes that it works, that that’s the way you should fight.
“I’m more realistic about the fight (game) now,” he said. “I don’t put too much emotion in the fight because emotions don’t belong there. You have to be cold. Not always the best man wins, but with the right strategy and determination it’s hard to lose. I’ve taken the emotion out of it.”
Alves is 3-2 since April 2014, when he returned to action against Seth Baczynski after a two-year layoff.