UFC 130 Fight Card Breakdown: Thiago Alves Vs. Rick Story

UFC welterweights Thiago Alves and Rick Story will clash on the UFC 130 pay per view, this Saturday, May 28 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The 27 year old Alves enters the fight as a perennial contender. He's been a staple of top 10 lists since beating Karo Parisyan and Matt Hughes in back-to-back fights in 2008. Since then he's challenged Georges St. Pierre for the UFC title and lost. He's also fought Jon Fitch, the man universally considered the #2 welterweight in the world, and lost. Not to mention he had to deal with a potentially life-threatening brain blood vessel anomaly that post-poned the Fitch bout four times. He's also struggled with making weight, blowing the weigh-ins at UFC 85 and 117.

Alves 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.

Rick Story is where Alves was three years ago. After losing his UFC debut in 2009, he reeled off five straight UFC wins over increasingly formidable competition. Story blasted fan-favorite Dustin Hazelett at UFC 117 and then took a unanimous decision over then-undefeated Johny Hendricks. That bout was a clearly a big test for Story and he passed with flying colors. His reward? Facing the very dangerous Thiago Alves.

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 do either of those two things, it's his fight to win. 

Nevertheless, until Story shows me that he can beat a top contender like Alves, I'm going with the more proven fighter. 

Aspect Alves Points Story Advantage
Range Fighting

Boxing Pro Puncher Alves
Kickboxing Crippling Aggressive  Alves 
Wrestling Defensive Very Good  Story
Clinch Fighting        
Dirty Boxing Ok Strong  Story 
 Thai Clinch Murderous 1 Ok Alves
 Throws/Trips Ok 1 Strong Story
 Ground Fighting

 Positional Control Good 1 Very Good Story
 Top Game Punishing 1 Brutal Story
 Bottom Game Savvy 1 Scrambler Alves
 Submissions Ok 1 Limited Alves
Intangibles Proven 1 Untested Alves
Overall Contender 6/5 UpNComer Alves

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