After nearly two years away from the game, Thiago Alves finally has his next fight booked. The one-time welterweight title challenger has been out of action since suffering a last-second submission loss to Martin Kampmann in their headlining bout at UFC on FX 2, subsequently pulling out of fights with Siyar Bahadurzada and Matt Brown at UFC 149 and Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen, respectively.
However, it was revealed last month that Alves was finally healthy again and hoping to return at UFC 171 in March. Yesterday, word was passed along that Alves will actually be returning in April when he faces TUF 11 standout Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11.
Baczynski has a had a rough run of things since putting together a six-fight win streak between 2010 and early 2012. “The Polish Pistola” was decisioned by Mike Pierce at UFC on FX 6 before getting KO’d by the now-retired Brian Melancon in the last second of the first round at UFC 162, and only recently returned to the win column with a unanimous decision over Neil Magny at Fight for the Troops 3 last November.
Also booked for UFC on FOX 11…
Speaking of hype trains that came to a sudden halt, Jordan “Young Guns” Mein was flying high after becoming the only man to ever stop Dan Miller inside the distance (in the first round, no less) in his promotional debut at UFC 158. Unfortunately, the Strikeforce vet was paired with the beast that is Matt Brown in his next contest and saw his three-fight win streak broken via a hellstorm of elbows. Said Evangelista Santos while watching the fight from his couch, “Good, now he knows how it feels.”
In any case, Mein will also attempt to get back in the win column at UFC on FOX 11 when he faces Santiago “El Rasta” Ponzinibbio, an 18-2 TUF Brazil 2 alum who dropped a decision in his promotional debut against Ryan LaFlare at Fight Night 32. I have no clue who this Ponzinibbio fella is, but he did just remind me of how versatile and excellent ponzu sauce is, so perhaps the beatdown he will inevitably at the hands of Mein will not be completely in vain. Little victories, Nation.
Finally, TUF 17 vet Josh Samman will face Caio Magalhaes on the FOX 11 undercard as well. Please try and contain yourselves.
UFC on FOX 11 goes down on April 19th from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.