It’s been four years since Jon Fitch last fought Thiago Alves, claiming a second round TKO victory over the fighter who, like Fitch, is seen as one of the welterweight division’s best.

Now the two are set to meet again in an eagerly awaited rematch at UFC 117, and Fitch believes Alves will be facing a much improved version of himself on Saturday night.

“I’ve developed all aspects of my game,” he tells “I’m a much better striker, my jiu-jitsu is through the roof – I’m a black belt now, my wrestling’s gotten better, we’ve had Daniel Cormier here helping us with our wrestling. He’s a fantastic wrestling coach.”

Fitch believes it’s not just his fighting skills that have improved in recent years, but also his all round conditioning.

“My strength and conditioning coach has turned me into a new athlete. I’m a better athlete now that I was in my 20’s, and then I’ve changed my diet around, too. So I’m leaner, stronger, the weight comes of easier when I’m cutting. I just feel a lot better than I ever have.”

Whatever it is he’s been doing it certainly seems to be working.  Since he last fought Alves in 2006, Fitch has lost just once, to current champion Georges St.Pierre.

Watch Jon Fitch’s full interview below.