If you’ve written Thiago Alves off as a champion contender in the UFC’s welterweight division, the “Pitbull” plans to prove you wrong tomorrow night.

As old school fans know, Alves sat at the top of the UFC’s welterweight division for years, and challenged Georges St-Pierre back in 2009 (and lost by decision to the now former champ). In more recent years, however, Alves has been battered by injuries, and has fought just three times since 2011.

Since Alves was submitted by Martin Kampmann in March, 2012, the American Top Team fighter has scored wins over Seth Baczynski and Jordan Mein. In the last bout, Alves rebounded from a tough opening round, and stopped Mein with a cracking body kick.

Tomorrow, Alves will take on the UFC’s #4th ranked welterweight in Carlos Condit, and the 31 year-old understands this is a huge opportunity for him to get right back in the title shot mix. While speaking to MMA Junkie.com Radio recently, here is some of what Alves had to say about tomorrow’s scrap, and what he hopes to demonstrate (quote via MMA Junkie.com):

“I’m very excited,” Alves said. “It’s been 12 years, I think. It’s a blessing that the UFC definitely gave me a gift to be able to come here in my country and fight Carlos Condit and to reclaim the top 10 or top 5 spot. It’s a great opportunity that I’m not going to waste. I trained very, very hard for this fight and I’m ready to put on a show. I’m ready to put him away and show the division that I’ll be the next welterweight champion.”

It’s a compelling fight, not only because Condit and Alves are two of the division’s more aggressive and talented fighters, but because what’s on the line. Condit is returning for the first time since last March, when he injured his knee while fighting Tyron Woodley. If the “Natural Born Killer” wants to stay within reach of a title shot he also needs a win.

UFC FN 67 will be hosted by Goiania, Brazil.