Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight strikers Patrick Cote and Thiago Alves threw down last night (April 8, 2017) at UFC 210 inside KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
Cote’s drop to Welterweight has paid dividends. He was pretty consistently close to the cut line at 185 pounds, but his change in scenery revitalized his career and found him having his hand raised more often than not. Alves looked to create a similar result by dropping to Lightweight, but he was unable to handle the cut. Last night was his first bout since that attempt, and many were curious to see how he would perform.
Both fighters opened with movement and low kicks. However, it was Alves who quickly appeared the sharper man, finding a home for hard kicks more often than Cote would like. Meanwhile, Cote began to pressure more, looking to find a home for the right hand.
Alves furthered his lead by dropping his opponent with a hard left hook. Cote survived the remaining minute of the round, but he took more shots and was never able to return to his feet.
It was a dynamic start for the Brazilian.
Cote recognized his opponent’s strong start by increasing the urgency, driving his foe into the fence with combinations. Alves answered back well, forcing Cote to ease up a bit. Additionally, Alves did a nice job of landing low kicks when his foe tried to lead.
Once again, Alves managed to drop his foe with about a minute remaining, this time with a gorgeous counter right hand. Cote recovered better, but it pretty much eliminated any chance of him stealing any otherwise fairly close round.
Heading into the third, the Canadian needed a finish.
Like the second, Cote opened the round by backing his foe into the fence with some heavy punches. This time, he changed levels into a double leg that was deep, but his opponent eventually reversed position and threw Cote to the mat.
When Cote escaped to his feet, Alves returned to picking his opponent apart. Cote managed to land a couple clean punches, but Alves mostly kept battering his opponent with heavy shots.
The flying knee at the bell was simply a cherry on top.
This was definitely a return to form for Thiago Alves. His combination of sharp countering and heavy low kicks proved to be a nasty combination, as he chewed up his foe’s lead leg then punished him for trying to close the distance.
For the most part, it was prime Alves. His offense was brutally effective while at the same time denying his opponent many openings to land big shots. Cote tried valiantly, but he was unable to make anything major happen.
On the whole, the only difference noticeable was that Alves is a touch slower than in his past. When he strikes, he’s still very dangerous, but he’s a bit slower to react to his opponents offense. Most of the time, he’s out of range or has his hands up, but Cote was able to slip some good shots through.
He may not be a contender anymore, but this was a big win for the Brazilian.
Cote did not represent himself poorly. Despite his reputation as a striker, Cote has often struggled with more technical kick boxers. That proved to be the case in this match up, as Cote’s willingness to scrap earned him some points, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to overcome Alves’ Muay Thai.
If there’s any criticism to make, Cote may have found more success by wrestling early. It’s hard to say for sure — Alves handled his late attempts to wrestle without much issue — but often the gas tank has been Alves’ biggest issue. Had he pushed the pace with takedowns and pressure punching, perhaps things could have been different.
Probably not though. Alves was on point last night, and that’s a difficult fight for Cote.
Following his loss, Cote decided to retire after many years as a professional. He’s had a stellar career, including fighting for the 185 lbs. title, but his final run as a Welterweight was perhaps his best technical showing.
Last night, Thiago Alves soundly defeated his opponent. Can Alves put it all together and return to the rankings?
For complete UFC 210: “Cormier vs. Johnson” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
Source:: mma mania