Eddie Alvarez grinds it out to get close win over Anthony Pettis

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Perfect gameplan: Eddie Alvarez.

It wasn’t pretty from the ‘Silent Assassin’ but he executed the perfect gameplan to shutdown ‘Showtime’ and continue what has been a gruelling start to life in the UFC.

The former Bellator champion faced Donald Cerrone in his UFC debut, then came back against Gilbert Melendez but as the difficulty moved up a notch, Alvarez used his wrestling to control Pettis.

Rafael dos Anjos exposed the gameplan to beating him in ripping the belt away last year and although not quite as emphatic, Alvarez quelled his offence by pinning him up against the cage. Now ,he wants a shot at the title.

“He’s a former champion and so far (in the UFC), I’ve fought nothing but guys (who have been in) title fights,” Alvarez said. “He’s a former champion and I want the champion next. Give me the champion.”

As for Pettis, the division is beginning to pass him by and it’s going to be a long way back to the top after his second-straight defeat.

“I’m angry,” he said. “I don’t know what to say right now.”

Elsewhere, a heavyweight clash that promised fireworks fell flat.

Travis Browne and Matt Mitrione failed to blaze in a fight marred by eye pokes. The first happened in the closing stages of the first round but Mitrione recovered.

He was caught again, this time by Browne’s thumb in the second but was cleared to fight on.

Browne avoided a deduction and after a crushing right hand in the third, completed a takedown to ground and pound a stoppage. Mitrione was left with a horribly swollen eye and the crowd made their feelings known towards the victor.

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