Former UFC title challenger Thiago Alves signs with BKFC

Thiago Alves
Image: @UFC on Instagram

Former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves is dropping his gloves and heading to the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) ring.

News of Alves’ move to BKFC was first reported by MMA Fighting, who spoke to the promotion’s president David Feldman.

Feldman not only confirmed that Alves will move to BKFC, but divulged that he will debut with the promotion in April or May.

“I am very excited to have Thiago on the BKFC roster,” Feldman said. “He is very experienced and always has an entertaining fight. He will make his debut in April or May.

“We really expect big things from him. He’s a great fighter and a great person.”

Thiago Alves is the latest in a long list of former UFC fighters to migrate to BKFC. Others include Artem Lobov, Jason Knight, Jim Alers, Isaac Vallie-Flagg, Joey Beltran, Hector Lombard, Chris Leben, Gabriel Gonzaga, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Bec Rawlings and Chase Sherman.

The promotion has also signed other high profile fighters like former boxing champ Paulie Malignaggi, former WSOF star Luis Palomino, and fan favorite veteran Charles Bennett.

Thiago Alves will enter the BKFC ring having gone 1-4 in his last five UFC fights. In that stretch, he sandwiched a split decision victory over Max Griffin between losses to Curtis Millender, Alexey Kunchenko, Laureano Staropoli and Tim Means.

Alves contended for the UFC welterweight title 2009, battling the legendary Georges St-Pierre for the belt on the landmark UFC 100 card. He lost this fight by unanimous decision.

Over the course of his career, Alves has picked up wins over fighters like Marcus Davis, Chris Lytle, Karo Parisyan, Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck, Seth Baczynski, Jordan Mein and Patrick Cote. How do you think he’ll perform sans gloves in the BKFC ring? Let us know in the comments section.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/22/2020.