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Joel Álvarez Is A Force To Be Reckoned With

Heading Into A Bout With Arman Tsarukyan That Could Have Career-Changing Implications, Joel Álvarez Is Ready To Establish Himself As A Surging Force In The Lightweight Division

The first thing that jumps off the paper when discussing UFC lightweight prospect Joel Álvarez is his ability to finish fights. As a matter of fact, that’s all Álvarez has ever done.

The 28-year-old Spaniard has finished his opponent in all 19 of his professional MMA victories. A 100% finish rate is an impressive feat for any mixed martial artist, and it’s something that he prides himself on maintaining each time he competes.

Don't Miss UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Green

“As a fighter, I have nothing else in my mind other than finishing the fight,” Álvarez told UFC.com. “That’s the only way I know how to win fights. I don’t know how to win by decision, I only win by finishing fights.”

Highlight: Joel Alvarez Stuns Thiago Moises | UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Rodriguez
Highlight: Joel Alvarez Stuns Thiago Moises | UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Rodriguez
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His opportunity to make it 20-for-20 comes at UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Green, when he takes on No. 13-ranked Arman Tsarukyan. It’s a big fight and a big opportunity for Álvarez to prove that he’s someone that the whole lightweight division needs to keep their eyes on.

Álvarez’s confidence is warranted after stringing together four straight UFC finishes, which included an amazing first-round TKO win over the recently-ranked Thiago Moisés. The statement victory over Moisés helped Álvarez earn this showdown with Tsarukyan.

“I feel great about my momentum,” Álvarez said. “Even though this is a big fight, I feel no pressure. I’m just ready and confident.”

Although things inside the Octagon have been going well for Álvarez, he’s failed to be consistent on the scale.

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He’s missed the lightweight limit in each of his last two trips to the scale. Those misses aren’t something that Álvarez is proud of, and he made sure to correct his weight cutting issues heading into this high-profile matchup with Tsarukyan.

“I took my time in the preparation for this fight. The nutrition has been great, and I’ve been focused. I feel good and I feel better than in the lead-up to other fights, so I have a good feeling about this one,” Álvarez said. “I have done all the right things in this camp and it’s going to pay off.”

Joel Alvarez training for UFC Vegas 49
Joel Álvarez trains at the UFC Performance Institute ahead of his lightweight bout against Arman Tsarukyan at UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Green on February 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Juan Cardenas/Zuffa LLC)

Another reason that Álvarez was so diligent in his preparation for UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Green was his respect for Tsarukyan’s skill set. The 25-year-old has displayed prolific grappling against well-respected opponents Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Christos Giagos, Davi Ramos, Matt Frevola, and Islam Makhachev, quickly becoming one of the young rising stars in the sport and someone that Álvarez has had his sights on.

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Green

"Arman is a good opponent. We have a similar record in the UFC, we both lost our UFC debuts and have won four in a row since,” Álvarez said of his opponent. “It was time for us to clash. It was meant to be; we’re like two trains on one track.

Despite the similar UFC record and pattern, Álvarez believes he has set himself apart from Tsarukyan with his ability to finish fights while Tsarukyan tends to earn his victories by decision.

“He has the power to control the fight,” Álvarez said before cracking a smile. “But I have the power to finish the fight.”

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“With a win I will become a name in the division,” Álvarez said. “That would be 20 wins and 20 finishes. All my wins will be by finish, and I will definitely be a name in the weight class after Saturday.”

Don't miss a single round of UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Green, live from the UFC APEX on Saturday, February 26 on ESPN+. Prelims begin at 4pm ET/1pm PT. Main card begins at 7pm ET/4pm PT.

UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Green took place on Saturday, February 26, 2022, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. See the Final ResultsOfficial Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.