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UFC Boston results: Eddie Alvarez upsets Anthony Pettis

In the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 81, Eddie Alvarez used a pressure game to shut down Anthony Pettis and take a decision.

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The UFC lightweight division is a little more muddled than it was yesterday. In the co-main event of UFC Boston, Eddie Alvarez shook up the rankings by winning a split decision over # 1 contender Anthony Pettis. He did it by using the Clay Guida gameplan - smother Pettis so he can't use his vaunted striking.

Alvarez went to his wrestling right away, pressing Pettis against the cage and controlling his legs. Pettis got back to his feet but Alvarez worked a strong clinch game against the cage, not allowing Pettis to move at all. Pettis finally escaped with two minutes to go and connected with a few kicks, but Alvarez got him back against the cage and grinded away. Pettis once again got back to the center of the octagon and scored with two hard body kicks.

Alvarez started the second with a short right hook and looked for another takedown. Pettis returned fire with body kicks and quick rights to the chin. Alvarez responded with his own leg kicks. Pettis wasn't doing anything flashy, just looking to connect with the basics. Alvarez was connecting a lot though too, and the second was pretty close.

They exchanged body kicks early in the third, with Pettis connecting more. Pettis tagged Alvarez and bloodied up his nose. Alvarez responded with a takedown against the cage. Pettis immediately looked for a heel hook but Alvarez escaped and smothered him in half guard. The crowd didn't like it, but Alvarez's pressure had Pettis completely in check. Pettis finally got himself ree with 30 seconds to go, but he couldn't get anything going

The scores were 29-28, 28-29, 29-28, but I have trouble giving Pettis one round, much less two. Either way, it was a huge win for the former Bellator champ.