Abu Dhabi, UAE — As successful as the eventual outcome was, Spanish lightweight Joel Alvarez’s trip to Fight Island for UFC 254 did not go as planned.
Alvarez (18-2) picked up his third straight win, and third straight finish, at the event. There’s really no arguing with that kind of success, especially given it was a first-round submission of Alexander Yakovlev this time out, a fighter with far, far more experience that Alvarez himself.
Post-fight, the Spanish fighter called his performance “exactly what we’re going for and that’s pretty much it. I didn’t expect anything less.”
The only problem is, he also missed weight for the fight. Weighing in at 159.5lbs means Alvarez gives up 30% of his purse.
“I’m a professional. That’s never happened before and it’s not going to happen again,” he promised media members back stage at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. “Next time I just gonna have to plan it out. In four weeks maybe wasn’t enough for me to make weight.”
Aside from the weight, Alvarez also had injuries to contend with. “I need to take some time off and heal some injuries,” he said, adding “2021 is going to be my year.”
As to what was bothering him, “I have my right shoulder,” revealed “El Fenómeno” — who also noted that he had an injured foot.
2021 it is then.
Watch the full UFC 254 post-fight press scrum with Joel Alvarez above.