A lightweight bout between Arman Tsarukyan and Joel Alvarez was called in the second round after Tsarukyan landed a hard elbow to Alvarez’s face near the end of the first while the two grappled on the floor of the Octagon. The impact was so audible it drew a reaction from the announcers, but Alvarez continued to fight without any noticeable effects. That is, until the Spanish fighter’s head started getting covered with blood.
Despite the gnarly cuts on Alvarez’s face, the fight was allowed to continue into the second round. That’s when Tsarukyan proceeded to once again gain top position on Alvarez and rain down blows on his opponent until the referee stepped in, giving Tsarukyan the TKO win.
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The win improves Tsarukyan’s record to 18-2, with five straight wins. His lone UFC loss came against Saturday’s main card victor, Islam Makhachev. The Georgian currently ranks 13th in the UFC’s lightweight rankings, and Saturday’s win figures to only help the 25-year-old move up the rankings.
No sport sees a match end in gruesome ways quite like mixed martial arts. One fight at UFC Vegas 49 on Saturday kept that tradition going and then some.
From MMA Fighting:
“I like to surprise every one of my [opponents],” Tsarukyan said afterward. “I wanted to show how I improve my striking, wrestling, I can do everything. It was my game plan to make him tired to choke him or a TKO. I did it and I’m very happy. I think I deserve a top 10 and get fights with a top fighter. I’m getting better everyday.”
Tsarukyan also called for a rematch against Makhachev, though the Russian fighter probably has bigger things on his mind at the moment.
Alvarez falls to 19-3 with the loss, snapping a four-fight win streak.