Eddie Alvarez record a surprise split decision win over former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis at UFC Fight Night 81 on Sunday.
Pettis headed into the fight having lost his lightweight title to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185 in March last year, but despite this was the favourite to down Alvarez who beat Gilbert Melendez last time out.
It was Alvarez who set the tone with an early takedown, but Pettis responded with a kick to Alvarez’s thigh and attempted to catch the 32-year-old with a spinning kick. However, Alvarez ducked under it before taking Pettis down once again.
In the second round, both fighters exchanged kicks and punches, but the judges scored the round in Pettis’ favour as he looked slightly more convincing.
Pettis landed a leg kick on Alvarez to start the third round before the latter landed two leg kicks of his own. Pettis then unleashed a vicious combination of moves that left Alvarez with a bloody nose.
However, the ‘Silent Assassin’ bounced back by taking Pettis down numerous times and despite Pettis trying to go on the offensive, it was too little too late as he suffered his second consecutive loss with a 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 split decision going against him.
Meanwhile, Travis Browne won his bout with Matt Mitrione via TKO with just 51 seconds left in the fight.
However, Browne was booed upon being announced the winner as he had stuck his finger in Mitrione’s eye in the first round.
Earlier in the night, Francisco Trinado notched up his fifth successive win after defeating Ross Pearson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).