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Anthony Pettis vs Eddie Alvarez full fight video highlights from UFC Fight Night 81 last night

Two top-tier Lightweight standouts went to battle in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 81 last night (Sun., Jan. 17, 2016) inside TD Garden in Boston as Anthony Pettis faced Eddie Alvarez.

For the full co-main event recap click here.

"Showtime" was looking to make a successful return to the Octagon following the loss of his 155-pound belt when he took on the No. 4-ranked Alvarez in "Beantown."

If you thought Pettis was going to set the tone early, you were wrong. Alvarez came out and implemented a highly unorthodox gameplan -- at least when you take a look at recent performances -- by grinding on Pettis along the fence.

The Philadelphia native was able to control the early parts of their bout with solid wrestling and he even grounded the Roufusport fighter at one point.

But, Pettis wouldn't be deterred, answering back and then some in round two with much better takedown defense. The Taekwondo specialist also scored with a number of leg and body kicks, which halted the advancement of Alvarez.

Alvarez would storm back in round three and put more pressure on Pettis, backing him into the cage, where he would land a few more takedowns. Ultimately, the judges sided with Alvarez, who was awarded the split-decision victory.

The ex-Bellator Lightweight champion improves to 2-1 in UFC and should be in serious discussions for a title shot. Pettis loses his second-straight tilt in disappointing fashion.

For complete results of the UFC Fight Night 81 card, including post-fight recaps and analysis, click here.

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