Eddie Alvarez def. Anthony Pettis UFC Fight Night 81
Former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis returned to action to meet former Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez in the co-feature bout of UFC Fight Night 81 Sunday in Boston.
Pettis took the center of hte cage early, but it was Alvarez who landed first with a leg kick. 30 seconds in, Alvarez shot in for a takedown and pulled Petis down to the mat and against the cage. Pettis was up quickly, but couldn’t escape the clinch. Alvarez seemed intent on staying as close as possible to Pettis and keeping it on the ground. He was constantly looking to droop his hips and get another takedown. Pettis was able to land some knees, but had no luck shaking Alvarez off before briefly going back to the canvas. Finally, Pettis circled away from the cage and started throwing kicks. He tried a spinning heel kick, but found himself taken down once again.
Alvarez opened with a good body kick to Pettis and he was dictating the pace. Alvarez followed with a short right hook. Alvarez went for the takedown and just pinned Pettis against the cage as he tried to get his legs out from under him. Alvarez held underhooks and tried to control but Pettis was able to get out with his knees. Alvarez continued to control the middle and had Pettis circling on the outside, making him cautious of the potential takedown. Pettis went for a hard leg kick and Alvarez engaged in the clinch pinning Pettis against the cage. Pettis quickly went for and released a guillotine choke on Alvarez. Pettis switched to the orthodox stance at the urging of his corner. He was able to hold off a takedown and stay off the cage. He landed a left that seemed to put back Alvarez a bit. Pettis began to take the control with punches and leg kicks.
Alvarez came out with more urgency, but went right back to the takedown attempt. he failed again and ate several strikes. He was throwing back, but Pettis’s strikes had a lot more steam behind them. Eddie was bleeding from his nose now, but he finally scored with a double leg against the fence. Pettis, however, went for a heelhook. Alvarez defended and ended up in half-guard.
Alvarez threw some hammer fists to counter and get into Pettis’ half-gaurd. Pettis got to his feet but couldn’t get free from Alvarez, who responded by slamming Pettis back to the ground. Pettis went for full guard, then escaped to his feet but Alvarez continued to pin him against the cage leaving Pettis to fight for his freedom. Alvarez tried to use his right leg to take out Pettis’ legs and get the takedown. With about 30 seconds left, Pettis got free and needed to go for a finish but looked gassed and lacking urgency.