Hoping to bounce back after losing the lightweight title to Rafael dos Anjos in his last outing, former champion Anthony Pettis faces former Bellator titleholder Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 81 on Jan. 17 in Boston.
Pettis is the top-ranked contender in the 155-pound division, while Alvarez occupies the fourth-ranked position. It’s a match-up between two top-five fighters, but Pettis doesn’t even see Alvarez as a challenge.
Alvarez enters the fight coming off his first win inside the Octagon, a split-decision victory or former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
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Pettis plans to earn the opportunity to avenge his loss against dos Anjos, but is focused on the fight before him. Of course, dos Anjos is also focused on another fight of his own, as he is expected to put his belt on the line against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone on Dec. 19 in the UFC on FOX 17 main event.
“Dos Anjos is definitely on the radar. After a fight like that, you’ve got to get it back, but I’m focused on Eddie Alvarez.”