Thiago Alves’ weight issues reared their ugly head once again last Saturday night. Despite only being a half pound over on the initial weigh-in, Alves either couldn’t or chose not to shed the few extra ounces he needed to make weight for his number one contender’s bout with Jon Fitch. Needless to say Dana White wasn’t happy, and basically told Alves after the loss it was time to make a move to the middleweight division.
“We were just texting a few minutes ago before I came in. He said, ‘I’m sorry about that, I’ll come back stronger.’ I said, ‘Yeah, at 185 you will.’ He said, ‘No, I want to fight at 170’… He looked lethargic tonight; he looked slow. He doesn’t belong at 170. He belongs at 185 pounds. That’s where I’d like to see him, at 185… It’s (expletive) to have guys make weight and have guys not make weight, especially at this level. When you’re in the UFC, your job is to make weight, end of story. I don’t think that Thiago didn’t not want to make weight, he can’t… It just screws things up. What happens if he did beat Fitch tonight and does make it to a title shot and then he doesn’t make weight for the title? I guarantee you he can make 185. If he can’t fight at 185, then I don’t know what to tell you. You’re too big.”
Alves however doesn’t seem to want anything to do with 185lbs. and understandably so considering the size advantage he enjoys at 170 would suddenly swing in his opponents’ favor at 185. The good news is Alves isn’t just making a promise to make weight the next time out, he’s actually taking steps to correct the problem once and for all. He has hired TUF 7 alum/nutrionist guru Mike Dolce to put him on the same “Dolce Diet” program that helped Quinton “Rampage” Jackson get down from 250 to 205 in the span of a few months for the Rashad Evans fight.
“I’ve been a fan of Thiago’s for a long time, I just think he’s fun to watch, and I saw the problems he had with his weight, whether it was missing weight or underperforming because of struggling to make weight. So after this time I sent Malki [Kawa] a text and said, ‘Enough [expletive] around, let’s get me working with Thiago.’ Here it is Monday and we’re moving forward with it. Hat’s off to Malki and to Thiago for showing how serious they are about doing it.”
“Thiago told me on the phone earlier that he walks around at 195 [pounds] eight weeks before the fight. I said, ‘Sh-t, that’s it? You can do that the week before the fight with me and you’ll feel phenomenal.'”
“The sauna to me is like an oven. Most saunas are 180 degrees. You’re actually cooking, roasting your organs. You’re cooking your brain, your heart, your liver. You’re bringing them into a detrimental state on the eve of the most important event of your life. Why would you do that to yourself? Most athletes just think, Oh, I have to make weight. Not, I have to make weight and then perform at the best of my ability. I keep my athletes super-hydrated the week of the fight. I keep them eating food, eating carbohydrates the entire week of the fight.”
If you remember from the UFC 114 preview shows, Dolce’s program actually involves living with his client and putting himself through the same training and diet program he puts them through. Dolce says this allows him to know exactly how his fighter is feeling as the camp progresses. Admittedly, his services are expensive, but he feels it’s worth it, because his fighters could be giving up “hundreds of thousands of dollars over time in bonuses, incentives, sponsorships, and purse upgrades, simply by not doing this the right way.”
It remains to be seen if Dolce is the answer to Thiago’s weight problem, but if nothing else, the fact that he’s actively trying to fix the problem should at least convince Dana to give him one more chance in the welterweight division.
Image via CombatLifestyle.com