Thus far, Sam Alvey’s move up to light heavyweight has paid dividends.
The former middleweight from Team Quest competed for the second time since making the jump to 205 pounds and emerged victorious for the second straight time.
Alvey fought a smart bout and picked his spots against Gian Villante in the UFC Utica main-card opener, which was enough to earn a split-decision win. Alvey got the better end of two out of three 29-28 scorecards.
Villante, who has a well-earned reputation as a head-hunter, seemed hesitant against his counter-striking foe, which led to a methodical opening round.
Alvey finished strong, though, as he dropped Villante with a left in the closing seconds. Alvey tried to finish the bout when Villante scrambled back to his feet, but Villante survived to the horn.
In the second, Villante pushed forward more, only to find himself walking into defensive combos. Alvey again turned up the heat late.
The third round was a battle of attrition, with both guys seeming to tire and not wanting to make a mistake.
“He’s the toughest the toughest SOB I think I’ve ever fought,” Alvey said. “I hit him with everything and the kitchen sink and he wouldn’t stay down.”
Alvey improved to 33-10 (1 NC) with his third win in his past four fights. Villante dropped to 16-10 with his third loss in his past four fights.