A welterweight title shot is on the line as Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves square off in a rematch from 2006. In the first contest, Jon Fitch scored a second round TKO via some brutal upkicks and punches, but this isn't necessarily something you can pull from. Both of these guys have vastly improved in different aspects of their game and neither is the same fighter they were four years ago.
Jon Fitch has improved greatly in his game, which usually includes getting an opponent down and holding them there for the duration of their fight. Alves' standup has become deadly efficient as of late, but we do have some precedent for arguing that Fitch can fight his game - you need only look to Alves' last fight, a loss to champion Georges St-Pierre. GSP took him down time after time and was able to work him from the top to grind out a five round decision. But GSP is a better athlete than Jon Fitch is, with more power in his takedowns.
GSP goes for the double or single leg and bowls over people to secure his top control, whereas Fitch has been one to utilize some inside boxing and clinch to secure his. He rushes in and punishes his opponent up close... but doing such a thing to Thiago Alves at this point is a risky endeavor. It's true that, over the years Fitch has improved his standup-to-setup the takedown game, but in that same time Alves' striking has improved to this pointed accuracy. Alves excels at staying just outside the pocket and controlling the distance in the standup.
Fitch has a lack of speed that adds to his disadvantage. On top of that, Alves was able to get back to his feet against GSP on numerous occasions. It will be a difficult fight for Fitch, but one can't ignore what he brings to the fight. If he can take him down at least three times, and not be too spent physically after having to take down someone who will be weighing much more than him on fight night, Fitch can come out with a decision here.
Or Alves could knock him out in the first round. The only certain thing in this fight at this point is that Jon Fitch will not be scoring another TKO win which includes upkicks and punches. It's decision or bust, for Fitch.