Eddie Alvarez knew he had the blueprint to beat Anthony Pettis. It was just a matter of implementing it.
Alvarez outwrestled and out-pressured Pettis to capture a hard fought split decision over the former lightweight champion at UFC Fight Night 81. While the fight itself didn’t provide the type of fireworks many expected, it got the job done, as Alvarez pushed his name to the forefront of title conversation by picking up the biggest win of his UFC career.
“I’m my biggest critic, before anyone,” Alvarez said at Sunday night’s post-fight press conference. “I don’t need anyone to tell me what I should’ve done. I want to be more exciting, trust me. But I’m not [fighting] guys who are ranked 25 and 30.
“There’s a real small margin for error at the top, and you can’t be going out there being reckless with a guy like Anthony Pettis, who is dangerous, he’s talented, but he has a deep hole [in his game], so I need to exploit that. I’d be stupid not to. So I definitely got the job done. If I was able to do some highlights in-between, then that’s great. But look, I want to do something huge here.”
Alvarez (27-4) followed the same past strategy employed by both Clay Guida and Rafael dos Anjos, forcing Pettis off his rhythm with a steady diet of takedowns and forward pressure throughout the three-round fight. The plan worked, as Alvarez scored with six of his 15 takedown attempts and spent large chunks of the bout pinning Pettis up against the fence, even despite Pettis’ decision to bring in famed wrestling coach Israel Martinez in the lead-up to the contest.
Still, it wasn’t easy. Pettis gamely stood in the pocket and countered and traded when able, forcing Alvarez to place his fate ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting