The 28-year-old is on a four-fight win streak inside the organization with all of his victories coming inside the bell. His last win over a ranked opponent in Thiago Moises was his best yet, as he bulldozed his way through the Brazilian.
Criticism has been thrown at Alvarez for not making weight in his last two fights, with claims that the Spaniard is holding an unfair advantage over his opponents. Yet on the biggest occasion of his career, this time, Alvarez made weight.
Speaking exclusively to MMA News, Alvarez revealed what went differently this camp that allowed him to make weight.
“This Time It Was Easy” Joel Alvarez On Making Weight
Being 6’3 in the 155lbs division is sure to have its drawbacks with the weight cut. Alvarez has had to deal with that draining him in every training camp to ensure his significant height advantage stands on fight night.
However, as he has gotten older, the tougher the weight cut has become. Many doubted that Alvarez would make weight ahead of UFC Vegas 49. Yet with the help of nutritionists, he was able to overcome the obstacle for the first time in two fights.
“Always it’s hard, but this time the change was I put my attention in the hands of a professional nutritionist. They are all the time paying attention to me by phone, by video call. So this time it was easy, but always it’s really hard,” said Alvarez.
Now, the focus will turn from the weight cut to his opponent as he looks to take down Tsarukyan to enter the lightweight rankings and make a statement at the Apex.
‘El Fenomeno’ Aims To Be In The Top Five At 155lbs
‘El Fenomeno’ has had his fair share of naysayers in the UFC. This fight is no different, as Alvarez enters as a +180 underdog. Although the Spaniard is now accustomed to being an underdog at this point, in fact, he thrives off of it.
“I love being the underdog,” said Alvarez. “Because I like to make a surprise for everybody and make money for my friends.”
His task as the underdog to take down a fellow prospect of the lightweight division appears his toughest yet. Tsarukyan is carrying a lot of hype and momentum entering UFC Vegas 49 with many claiming he has a significant advantage on his opponent in the wrestling department. Alvarez thinks otherwise.
“We have enough weapons to fight Arman in that comfort zone we can say. It’s not important for me as we have enough weapons,” said Alvarez.
Tsarukyan who sits at #13 in the UFC lightweight rankings has predicted he will submit the Spaniard via submission in the 2nd round. While Alvarez is so confident in his arsenal that he believes he can finish his opponent wherever the fight goes.
“My prediction is we are here to fight and win. So if we win it is going to be a submission or a knockout,” emphasized Alvarez.
It’s likely that Alvarez would replace Tsarukyan in the rankings with a victory, but the sky is the limit as he aims for the top five.
“As always we are here to fight, we are here to do several things step by step, I’m not in a hurry. We are here to go up in the rankings and very soon with the possibility to be in the top five,” said Alvarez.
Do you see Joel Alvarez extending his winning streak and entering the rankings?