UFC 237 Under The Radar: Thiago Alves vs Laureano Staropoli
By Ben Jessop
The UFC once again returns to the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro to showcase UFC 237, which is headlined by a woman’s strawweight competition.
We finally get to see Rose ‘Thug’ Namajunas make her return to the octagon. Last competing in April 2018 to defend back to back against Joanna Jedrzejczyk and remaining the strawweight champion.
After a year out, Rose comes back to face one of the most feared women in the division, Brazils’ own Jessica Andrade. Andrade is on a three fight win streak since her loss to Jedrzejczyk in 2017, having two unanimous decisions against Claudia Gadelha and Tecia Torres, along with a round one KO of Karolina Kowalkiewicz in September of 2018, she has the skillset to trouble Rose – It’s one of the best fights that could have been made, to the point the co-main event between UFC legend Anderson Silva and Jared Cannonier is being overshadowed, and Aldo vs Volkanovski is getting less attention than it deserves. It’s easy to see why a fight further down the card is getting little to no traction amongst fans.
I’m here to shine some much needed light on a bout that promises to deliver. I’m here to have a look at Thiago Alves vs Laureano Staropoli.
This is Staropoli’s second UFC appearance after a unanimous decision win over Hector Aldana in November 2018, and it’s quite a leap he’s now taken to be facing down UFC veteran Thiago Alves.
Having debuted in the UFC in 2005 against Spencer Fisher and losing via a round two triangle choke, two things are for certain – His record is now where near impeccable and that there is not a man of earth his scared to fight. Having fought legends of the sport, the likes of Matt Hughes, George St Pierre, Jon Fitch and Carlos Condit no-one can accuse Alves of backing down from an opportunity to engage in the cage. His latest bout saw him win against Max Griffin in a split decision in February of 2019.
Staropoli comes into this fight on a six fight win streak across a few promotions with three of them coming via from round one KO, you do need to note that his first win in the UFC was his only fight to go the distance so you do have to question, was this just luck of the draw or was it the notable step up in quality in the UFC compared to other promotions?
If Staropoli manages to put away a UFC veteran in his second fight for the company, it’s a seriously loud way to announce your arrival on the scene in a division stacked with a top fifteen of ridiculous talent. From fighters like Demian Maia, Robbie Lawler, Anthony Pettis, Stephen Thompson, Darren Till, Jorge Masvidal, Rafael Dos Anjos, Tyron Woodley and a champ in Kamaru Usman – A loud entrance is exactly what you need.
It really is a battle of the old vs the new, with 9 years and twenty seven fights between the two, it’s hard to see, for me personally, how Staropoli is going to get passed that level of experience – With that in mind, this is MMA, anything can happen.
Keep your eyes on this one, we could witness something special!