UFC 100- Alves vs. GSP (Analysis Thread)
As UFC 100 is fast approaching, I wanted to create a thread to discuss the match up (on a technical level) between the two WW's. Here's my analysis of Alves keys for victory (I will post GSP's soon):
(Note: Please no Greasegate discussion here)
Keys to Victory: As Thiago's stand up is his strongest point, he must find a way to keep it standing. My biggest problem with Alves's game, is that he doesn't use a lot of footwork. As he has amazing technique in traditional muay thai, he has a tendancy to come forward with his storng stance (as Muay Thai fighters typically do). He has been really successful in the past with approach, as he generates a lot of power with his leg kicks and keeps his hand's up most of the time. The problem with GSP's stand-up, is that he moves around a lot and will be a moving target the whole fight. In my opinion, Alves will have a tuff time hitting GSP if he doesn't use distance and time to go in and out of range. I believe if Alves can use good footwork, he will pose two major problems for GSP:
1. GSP won't be able to time his shot as effecitvely. Alves has shown good takedown defense, and i believe he can stuff GSP if he is in a good position to Sprawl.
2. Leg Kicks- As Alves has some of the most strongest leg kicks in this division, he can really slow down GSP if he can land strong kicks to the leg early in the fight.
Even if Alves has good timing with his footwork, I really hope he can prepare for GSP's versatility. What I believe makes GSP's takedown so effective, is in his combinations leading up to the takedown. GSP uses a lot of fakes, and will use good punch and kick combos so the opponent is not in a good position to sprawl.
As many analyst's will predict, If Alves can't stop GSP's takedowns, he will be in for a long night of GNP.