Alvarez faced Pettis at UFC Fight Night 81, and utilized his wrestling and top game to get by the highlight reel striker. Since Alvarez has been involved in several, thrilling slugfests to date, the fight failed to meet a lot of folks expectations. The former Bellator champ’s tactics also didn’t sit well with the ‘just stand-and-bang’ contingent (Alvarez was also forced to grind out a win versus Gilbert Melendez).
Well, recently Alvarez had this to say about the criticism the fight has drawn (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“I’m learning over 13 years of fighting that everyone wants Tank Abbott,” Alvarez said. “I’m not Tank Abbott. I’m not going to be Tank Abbott. I can’t do that every single fight. I want to be tactical, but I want to win.”
“I like this guy, Rafael dos Anjos. He fights violent. He fights at a high pace,” Alvarez added about the lightweight champ, who he will fight on July 7th. “This is the guy that’s going to bring that out of me. Anthony Pettis wasn’t the guy to bring that out of me. He was simple to hold down, and I did what I wanted against him. This guy will help bring that dog out of me and bring that fight.”
When you consider what was riding on his bout with Pettis, and how talented of a striker “Showtime” is, it’s hard to fault Alvarez for fighting the way he did. Sure, it won’t win ‘fight of the year’, but look what the victory got him? A shot at the 155 belt. If he had been taken out by Pettis, Alvarez would be sitting with a 2-2 UFC record.
Now it will be interesting to see how Alvarez approaches RDA, who can crack on his feet, and is a BJJ black belt.
UFC FN 90 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena.