Thiago Alves has seen his share of ups and downs in his career. From a title fight at UFC 100, to failing to make weight in his attempt at 155 pounds. Alves looks to get back on the horse against another former title challenger in Patrick Cote. Fightful.com's Showdown Joe caught up with Alves at UFC 210 media day for an exclusive interview. You can see video of the exchange above.
JOE: I haven't seen you since what, 3-4 years ago in Toronto. A lot has happened in your career. Up and down with the weight class, up and down in general. Where's your head at right now? Because you'bve been around the sport for a long time.
ALVES: "My head is focused for next Saturday's battle against Patrick Cote. I';m in a great place. I think everything that happened to me the last two fights really put me in this positive state of mind, you know? I see nothing but victory in front of me, and I'm ready, man. Finally I'm enjoying this process again."
How come you weren't enjoying it before?
"The weight cut. The weight cut. The last year and a half I was so focused on the weight cut and trying to make it at 155. ... It was a little bit too much. After what happened at [UFC] 205, we decided to go back and enjoy this game, because I love what I do, man. There's no better lifestyle for me. I've been doing this forever. I don't know how to do any other way. I don't know how to do anything else. I don't know how to do this if I'm not enjoying and not having fun. Here I am. I'm ready, excited and ready to put on a show."
You told me that before. When you're having fun, it's great, but that's not good for your opponents.
"It's not very good for my opponents, and I want to keep it that way. I want to have fun, enjoy and once we're locked in the cage I'm all business. Get the job done and get out of there."
Perfect fight on Saturday night. If you had the perfect fight, what would it be?
"It's gonna be what I'm gonna have. I'm gonna finish him. I'm gonna finish him, one way or another. It's gonna be a beat down for three rounds. Or a war. I am definitely gonna come out on top."
Most guys want to get out of there in one minute. Some guys want to do it in 15 minutes; I think they're crazy. Does it matter to you?
"It really doesn't. Of course, who doesn't want to get out of there early? But I'm prepared. Once you're in the zone, it doesn't matter. I don't even feel the time pass. I'm just concerned about my instincts and reacting, so I don't really think about time or anything else. I'm just ready to attack, and react."
Patrick's been around as well, so you're both seasoned guys, which kinda means you're both going to be very cerebral in the fight. Because one mistake can get pretty ugly. But does it matter? Like, once the referee steps out of the way, we're going to have fun, let's do this?
"Yeah. It doesn't really matter. It's competition. MMA, it's so exciting because anything can happen. And I'm just excited to be able to do what I love and get in there and get the job done."
We ask a bunch of fighters afterwards, once they're done, they all say the same thing. 'I just want to win, and then I want to go eat.' Buffalo's known for their wings, I'm sure there's other stuff here. What are you planning on eating on Saturday night?
"Whatever they put in front of me. I think UFC has pretty good food waiting for the fighters and everything. But, I want pizza. They don't let me eat pizza, even after the weigh-ins. So pizza's my go-to after."