UFC Vegas 49: Bloodbath Sees Arman Tsarukyan Open Up Joel Alvarez with Elbows

Arman Tsarukyan and Joel Alvarez, UFC Vegas 49
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 26: (R-L) Arman Tsarukyan of Armenia battles Joel Alvarez of Spain in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Perhaps the biggest question ahead of the lightweight match-up between Arman Tsarukyan and Joel Alvarez at UFC Vegas 49 was whether the latter would make weight.

After missing the mark in two consecutive fights, Alvarez won that battle Friday. He would not win the war that ensued, however.

Tsaryukyan got his combinations going early, as the pair traded jabs — with Arman Tsarukyan mixing in a crisp kick. When they went to the ground, it was Tsarukyan on top, with Alvarez employing a closed guard. Tsarukyan got in plenty of time on top, but had to contend with a very active, agile Alvarez who looked comfortable enough on bottom, throwing up numerous submission attempts. He may have got a little too comfortable, as rather than escaping, Alvarez ate a volley of elbows towards the end of the round, which opened up a nasty, gushing cut.

The second round continued with Alvarez still leaking blood. Almost immediately, Alvarez was put on his back, with blood pooling in his eyes. Tsarukyan began landing more elbows, right on the original cut. Alvarez covered up and tried to work to his knees, still eating punches. Instead of getting up, he was dragged back to his knees. Alvarez made a go of it, but bloodied, blind, and covering up, the ref finally made the save.

In one of the bloodiest fights of the year so far, Arman Tsarukyan secured his fifth straight victory. That streak dates back to 2019, and should position the Armenian-Russian fighter for a step up moving forward.

Official Result: Arman Tsarukyan def. Joel Alvarez by TKO, Round 2, 1:57