Eddie Alvarez knew how to beat former MMA lightweight champion Anthony Pettis all along.
Last UFC Fight Night 81, Alvarez was able to win over Pettis by outwrestling and out-pressuring the former MMA lightweight champ. Even though the bout itself didn’t turn out to be as exciting as what everybody thought, Alvarez was very happy that he was able to emerge victorious as this is the biggest fight of his career as of the moment.
“I’m my biggest critic, before anyone. 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 said.
Alvarez, who is now holding a record of 27-4, used the same game plan as what the other fighters like Rafael Dos Anjos and Clay Guida used against the former champ- he made sure that Pettis is off his groove during the entire bout. As expected, the strategy worked seeing that Alvarez managed to get a total of six out fifteen takedown attempts. He also spent a lot of time keeping Pettis pinned against the cage fence.
Although Alvarez had it all planned out, it was clear that it wasn’t easy to win over Pettis at all. At the end of it all, the winner had to be chosen by the judges as the fight didn’t clearly showed who the winner was.
“I didn’t see a split decision going in. I’m the type of fighter who assumes I lose every round. I need my coach to tell me how I did. But that fight in particular, when I went back after the third, I assumed that I won the fight. So to see a split, that was a little shocking for me. I would’ve liked to let my hands go a little more. Anthony is a dangerous guy, and the idea was to wear him down, take all the pop off that fancy stuff, and just scrape him off the cage and beat him up. And he’s so talented. It’s tough to take risks against a guy like that,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez, who is also apparently a former MMA lightweight champion in Bellator, admitted that it’s never easy to get a chance on a title fight.
“When I signed with Lorenzo (Fertitta) and Dana (White), I simply told them that I would like the best guys that you guys have in the division. I didn’t want top-15. I wasn’t trying to look to show the fans something that I wasn’t. I wanted the best guys. So they’ve given me the best guys, and to be honest with you, I don’t know what I deserve. It’s up to the bossman here. Whoever they give me, that’s who we’re going after. Hopefully it’s for the title. I would love, love, love a shot at the title,” he added.