He is set to defend his title against the current interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje in the event’s headliner in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The evening’s co-main event is between former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker welcomes the surging Jared Cannonier.
A lightweight clash between Joel Alvarez and Alexander Yakovlev will kick off a historic night in Abu Dhabi.
Two lightweight’s will battle at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, October 24th when Joel Alvarez faces Alexander Yakovlev. It’s an interesting about as it showcases two fighters with opposite mixed martial arts styles, a true ground game specialist in Alvarez and a stand up guy in Yakovlev.
For Alvarez, this is his second time on ‘Fight Island’, first time around in July he finished Irish Joe Duffy, submitting him with a guillotine win. With a 17-2 record, the Spanish specialist can make a leap into the higher spots in the rankings with another win here.
Alexander Yakovlev (25-10-1) has not quite had the same success in MMA as other martial arts but he is still a multi-skilled technician. He went 2-4 in the UFC including losses to Demian Maia and Kamaru Usman and then took two and a half years off after a submission loss to Zak Cummings in November 2016.
Feeling out process in the first 20 seconds, Yakovlev lands a low kick. Alvarez returns with his own but up high. Joel lands two back to back calf kicks. Yakovlev shoots for a takedown, Alvarez looks for the guillotine as a defence mechanism for the takedown. Squeezing hard. Alvarez gets the guillotine into fall guard. Yakovlev clears his head and slips out. Yakovlev on top landing some good ground and pound, he leaves his arm exposed and Alvarez grabs the armbar and tightens it up. This is a deep armbar, Yakovlev had no choice but to tap.
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