Joel Alvarez
El Fenomeno

Spain

Easy victory after missing weight
LightweightUFC
October 24, 2020
Alvarez defeated Alexander Yakovlev via submission (armbar) at 3:00 of Round 1 at UFC 254 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
Alvarez, a submission wizard, threatened with a deep guillotine in the very early going before eventually transitioning to the armbar that ended the fight. Of course, Alvarez's brilliant effort means little because he missed weight by 3.5 pounds Friday and was forced to give up 30 percent of his purse to Yakovlev in order for this fight to continue. Alvarez dropped a unanimous decision to Damir Ismagulov in his company debut back in February 2019 but has run off three-straight stoppage victories since. In total, 16 of Alvarez's 18 career wins have come via submission. He's also just 27 years old. There's legitimate potential here if Alvarez can get his weight cutting issues under control.
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Comes in heavy
LightweightUFC
October 23, 2020
Alvarez weighed in at 159.5 pounds -- 3.5 pounds over the lightweight limit -- for his scheduled matchup against Alexander Yakovlev at UFC 254 on Saturday, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Alvarez will forfeit 30 percent of his fight purse for the bad weight miss, but the bout will proceed as planned on the early prelims of Saturday's card. While opening odds pegged Alvarez as a large betting favorite for this matchup, things have settled down a bit, as he sits as approximately a (-165) favorite as of Saturday morning. He'll be looking to bring his winning streak to three when he faces Yakovlev, an opponent 10 years his senior who has lost three of his last four. While Alvarez has a three-inch reach advantage and the statistical edge in striking volume, he'll need to be sure to stay off his back, as he's been taken down three times in his last two fights.
Books fight with Alexander Yakovlev
LightweightUFC
October 7, 2020
Alvarez (17-2-0) is slated to fight Alexander Yakovlev (25-10-1) in a lightweight fight Oct. 24 at UFC 254 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
A winner of 12 of his last 13 fights, Alvarez is 2-1-0 overall since joining the UFC in February 2019. Yakovlev, on the other hand, hasn't found much success in the Octagon of late, losing in three of his last four fights.
Taps out Joe Duffy in Abu Dhabi
LightweightUFC
July 18, 2020
Alvarez defeated Joseph Duffy via submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:15 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
It's nearly impossible to believe that Duffy would be foolish enough to recklessly leave his neck exposed against a guy who entered with 13 submission victories in his career, but he did, and Alvarez took advantage. It was by far the biggest victory of Alvarez's career. Alvarez is intriguing because of his size. It's exceedingly rare to see a 6-foot lightweight, and he does an excellent job of using his long limbs in the submission game. There's a decent chance it's an aberration, but Alvarez has now secured stoppage victories in his first two UFC bouts.
Booked against Duffy in July
LightweightUFC
June 18, 2020
Alvarez is scheduled to take on Joe Duffy in a lightweight matchup July 18 on Fight Island, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
ANALYSIS
Alvarez last made the walk to the Octagon in June of 2019, coming from behind to get a knockout victory against Danilo Belluardo in the second round to even his UFC record at 1-1. He'll hold big height and reach advantages against Duffy, who is on a two-fight losing streak and hasn't fought since March of 2019.
Turns tide to snatch victory
LightweightUFC
June 1, 2019
Alvarez defeated Danilo Belluardo via TKO (punches) at 2:22 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night 153 in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
We saw a much more aggressive Alvarez in his second UFC outing, with the 26-year-old pressuring forward and landing strikes from the outset. This less-than-cautious approach resulted in Alvarez being taken down on two occasions, but he was able to get the sweep in Round 2 and land strikes until his opponent had enough. While it's always nice to get your first victory in The Octagon, Alvarez is a straight-up fighter with questionable defense, who also appears to be susceptible to takedowns. This could make it difficult in the division going forward. He improves to 16-2 in professional MMA as a result of the win.