Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
The 25-year-old lightweight bludgeoned Alvarez with an elbow strike in the opening round that caused a nasty cut that had blood just streaming across his face. It only got worse in the second round with Tsarukyan just hammering away at Alvarez with a barrage of punches, which forced the referee to finally step in to stop the fight before any further damage could be dished out.
The end came at 1:57 in the second round with Tsarukyan securing his fifth straight victory in a row.
“I like to surprise every one of my [opponents],” Tsarukyan said afterwards. “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.”
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Facing a taller, longer opponent, Tsarukyan looked to negate Alvarez’s size advantage by grabbing an early takedown as he brought the fight down to his world on the ground. Tsarukyan was methodical as he came crashing down with punches and elbows from the top while Alvarez was shifting his hips back and forth to threaten with submissions while also looking to scramble free to get back to his feet.
Late in the opening round, Tsarukyan connected with a devastating elbow strike that sliced Alvarez open with a gash across the nose and a river of blood came pouring out.
In between rounds, the cutman attempted to slow the bleeding but Tsarukyan wasted no time snatching another takedown and targeting the nose with his punches.
With Alvarez covered in his own blood, which obviously restricted his ability to see the strikes coming at him, Tsarukyan just started unloading shots that eventually led to the stoppage.
Tsarukyan might just be one of the best prospects to come along in the lightweight division in quite some time and he would love the chance to eventually avenge his only loss in the UFC after he dropped a decision to Islam Makhachev in a Fight of the Night performance back in 2019.
“It’s my goal [to face Islam Makhachev again],” Tsarukyan said. “Because it’s going to be a good match. It’s going to be the greatest match because we are the best in our division. I think so.”