Updated:Feb 25, 2022
February 26th will be an exciting day for followers of combat sports. Not only is the UFC hosting another edition of Fight Night, but boxing’s undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor will put his belts on the line against the number one contender, Jack Glasgow. As a diehard pugilistic enthusiast, I plan on watching both events. Both sports feature exciting main cards punctuated with a potentially thrilling main event. The UFC’s main event of the evening features the always exciting Islam Makhachev against the increasingly popular Bobby Green. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Makhachev vs. Green
Bobby Green put on a masterful performance in a one-sided unanimous decision victory on February 12th at UFC 271. The problem is, that was a mere two weeks ago. As someone who watched the fight live, Green did not take much punishment and most likely didn’t suffer any major injuries that he needs to recover from. However, this is combat sports and I am a fan of erring on the side of caution. It doesn’t help matters much that his next opponent, Islam Makhachev is one of the fiercest men in the sport. In the ultra talented lightweight division, Makhachev is rightly considered a future contender to wear the crown.
Islam Makhachev has suffered one loss in his professional career. That took place in October of 2015; we’re approaching the seventh anniversary of his lone defeat. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him compete a few times and he is only getting better. At just 30-years-of-age, he already has 22 professional fights under his belt. He is seasoned and prepared. He knows that the lightweight division is the most talented in the sport and he needs to make a good impression if he is going to get a shot at the title. Fans can expect an all out war on the 26th between Makhachev and Green; they’re not just competing against one another, they’re auditioning for a larger role in the organization.Embed from Getty Images
Cirkunov vs. Turman
Middleweight challengers Misha Cirkunov and Wellington Turman are both Black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Each man has had limited success in the UFC and both are still awaiting their first shot at the title. Thus, both men have something to fight for on Saturday night. Cirkunov is seen as a fighter who may be on the wrong side of his prime, even though he is just 34-years-old. Turman, on the other hand, is 25-years-old and seen as an ascending prospect. This fight carries major implications for both men. The results will change the trajectory of their paths moving forward either positively or negatively. Fight fans will not want to miss this bout; both fighters will give everything they’ve got to ensure they get the results they so desire.
Kim vs. Cachoeira
Ji Yeon Kim and Priscila “Zombie Girl” Cachoeira are two of the most technically sound flyweights in all of women’s mixed martial arts. Kim is a Black belt in Wushu, while Cachoeira is classically trained in kickboxing and Muay Thai. Fans will be entertained by the variety of approaches each of these women employ when trying to subdue an opponent. Each of these women lost their last fight of 2021, and no competitor wants to extend a losing streak. This fight features two accomplished veterans of the octagon who are looking to get back into the win column. Get ready for an impressive showing of skills and a lot of action when “Fire Fist” takes on “Zombie Girl”!
Tsarukyan vs. Álvarez
Arman Tsarukyan has been impressive in each of his last four outings. He has won all of them in decisive fashion, including an impressive first round knockout victory in September of last year. In any other division, a streak like that might be enough to catapult him into the top ten in the rankings. Unfortunately for Tsarukyan he is jammed into the crowded lightweight division; as talented as he is, he is still just 13th in the rankings.
Joel Álvarez is a very tall lightweight. At 6’3″, he towers over the other fighters in his division. He is also on a four fight win streak and looking for an opportunity to climb in the rankings. Fighting a well known fighter like Tsarukyan will do wonders for his resume. The goal is always to win, but an impressive showing either way might be enough to finally help him crack the top 15 in the rankings. Both of these fighters are known to possess a lot of speed along with knockout power. When these two men climb into the octagon, make sure not to blink. You might miss something special.
Petrosyan vs. Rodrigues
Middleweight challenger, Armen Petrosyan is known more for his accomplishments as a kickboxer than for his mixed martial arts record. He has amassed over 90 professional kickboxing fights over his long and storied career, that began back in 2006. He appeared on Dana White’s The Contender Series back in October of last year, and was impressive enough that the organization’s CEO granted him a chance to compete among the official members of the roster, starting with his upcoming bout on the 26th.
Gregory Rodrigues was a very active fighter in 2021. He competed four times and emerged victorious in each bout. He’s been nicknamed “Robocop” because he performs like a cyborg once he climbs into the octagon. It seems as if he doesn’t feel pain and just keeps pressing forward no matter what his opponent throws his way. This fight should be entertaining. Both men are known to be among the most well-conditioned athletes in the sport and each has a relentless style to match. You won’t want to miss it.
How to watch
UFC Vegas 49 can be viewed on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in the United States. As always, we’ll have all the latest updates about the outcomes of the fights, as well as in depth analysis, available right here at World in Sport!