It appears we have the returns of Joel Alvarez (19-3) and Zubaira Tukhugov (20-5-1) on tap, as they’re slated to face one another at UFC 284, going down on February 12, 2023, live from the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
Headlining the event is an epic champion versus champion clash, as no. 2 pound-for-pound ranked UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-1) moves up to 155 lbs to challenge no. 1 pound-for-pound ranked UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (23-1) for his throne in attempt to become a two-division world champion.
We also have a title clash in the co-main event, as no. 2 ranked featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez (14-3) faces no. 5 ranked Josh Emmett (18-2) for the interim UFC featherweight championship.
Zuba Tukhugov, a natural featherweight, will also be moving up in weight, as he debuts in the lightweight division at this event opposing a very dangerous opponent.
The 32-year-old Russian prospect debuted in the UFC back in 2014 with a record of 15-3, and he’s since gone 5-2-1, only losing split decisions to both Renato Moicano and Hakeem Dawodu. The draw came against 11-0-1 English talent Lerone Murphy, who’s very quickly become a highly touted prospect.
Tukhugov most recently defeated Ricardo Ramos via unanimous decision back in October of 2021.
Joel Alvarez on the other hand has only ever seen the judges’ scorecards a single time throughout his 22-fight career, losing that fight via unanimous decision in his UFC debut to Damir Ismagulov.
Alvarez has since gone 4-1, defeating the likes of Joe Duffy (guillotine choke), Alexander Yakovlev (armbar), and Thiago Moises (TKO) in that time. His most recent outing however showed him getting absolutely mauled en route to a TKO defeat opposing no. 9 ranked Arman Tsarukyan.
The biggest factor to consider going into this fight is, as mentioned above, this will be Tukhugov’s first lightweight contest in the UFC. What’s more, he stands just 5’8” with a reach of 72”, while Alvarez stands 6’3” with a reach of 77”.
Alvarez boasts a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, while Tukhugov is a Master of Sport in both Combat Sambo and Hand-to-Hand-Combat.
Of Alvarez’ 19 wins, 16 come via submission with three knockouts, while of Tukhugov’s 20 wins, he boasts just one submission with seven knockouts and 12 decisions.
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