A welterweight bout featuring former division title challenger Thiago Alves taking on Alexey Kunchenko kicked off today’s UFC Fight Night 136 main card from Moscow.
Thiago Alves is coming off a knockout loss to Curtis Millender in his most recent octagon appearance this past February in Austin, Texas. Prior to the setback, Alves had defeated Patrick Cote via decision at UFC 210 in Buffalo.
Meanwhile, former M1 Global champ Alexey Kunchenko is making his octagon debut.
Round one begins and the fighters touch gloves in a show of respect. Alves fires off an inside low kick that lands. He comes forward and misses with a right hand. Kunchenko side steps and then throws a front kick to the body of Thiago. Alves goes upstairs with a high kick which is blocked. Kunchenko presses forward but eats a kick to the body for his efforts. He continues to press and lands a short right hand. Alves circles and then throws a low kick. Alves with a combination now but his punches fall just short of the mark. He lands another good low kick. Alexey with a jab to the body followed by a low kick. Thiago Alves replies with a crisp combination. Just over a minute remains in the opening round. Alves with a nice low kick. Kunchenko responds with one of his own. Alves with another low kick. Kunchenko has him backing up now. Alves circles and tries to get off the fence. Alexey won’t let him and lands a right hand. Alves responds with a nice low kick and then one to the body. Round one comes to an end.
Round two begins and both men fire off kicks to the body to get things started. Thiago Alves with a low kick and then a left hook over the top. Kunchenko remains unfazed and continues to press the action. Alves throws a big right hand but it misses the mark. Two minutes into round two and Alves is starting to find his range. He throws a switch kick and then a low kick. Kunchenko just continues to march forward like the terminator and throws a right hand. He goes to the body of Alves with a front kick but Alves quickly replies with a kick to the body. Kunchenko with a low kick but Thiago Alves counters perfectly with a combination. Thiago with a nice body kick and then another. Kunchenko eats those strikes and then fires off a left hand. Alves with a low kick. That strike stung. Kunchenko is just relentless with pressure but he’s not really landing. Alves with a pair of beautiful low kicks. He lands another. Both men connect with punches now. Round two comes to an end.
Round three begins and Thiago Alves gets busy early with low kicks. One, two, three and now a forth from Thiago. Kunchenko just eats the strikes and moves forward. Alves reels off a kick to the body and then wings a right hand behind it. Kunchenko with a jab to the body. Alves snaps a jab of his own. The fighters begin to stand and trade in the pocket. Alves with a right hand and then a low kick. Kunchenko counters with a nice right hand over the top. He comes forward with a knee. Alves circles out and then lands a shot to the body. He throws a low kick but it catches his opponent in the groin and so we break. Upon restart and Alves goes high with a kick which is blocked. Kunchenko with a left hook but Alves responds with a low kick. Another flurry from Kunchenko and Alves slips and trips to the floor. He gets back to his feet but is dragged back down to the floor by Kunchenko. Thiago Alves gets back up and eats a combination from his opponent. Kunchenko pushes him against the fence but Alves is able to break free. A spinning elbow attempt just misses for Kunchenko and the horn sounds to end round three.
— UFC (@ufc) September 15, 2018
Kunchenko def. Alves via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)