UFC Vegas 49 went down last night (Sat., Feb. 26, 2022) from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada featuring a catchweight fight between Islam Makhachev and Bobby Green. And it didn’t take long for Makhachev to once again remind everyone why he is one of the absolute best Lightweights in the game today by finishing “King” in one round (see it here). In the co-main event, Wellington Turman submitted Misha Cirkunov via armbar in the second round (highlights).
Biggest Winner: Islam Makhachev
This one is a no-brainer because Makhachev made an massive statement by ending Green’s night in the very first round thanks to his elite grappling and vicious ground-and-pound. The win was his tenth straight, fourth in a row via stoppage. After the win, Makhachev called for his long overdue title shot, and much to his delight, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White seemed to confirm he would be facing the winner of Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje later this year.
Runner Up: Arman Tsarukyan and Terrance McKinney
Since losing to Makhachev in April 2019, Tsarukyan has won five straight inside the Octagon, his last two via technical knockout (TKO). Last night in “Sin City,” Tsarukyan scored the latest notch on his belt by stopping Joel Alvarez via strikes, ending the rising star’s four-fight win streak (highlights). He also scored his second straight “Performance of the Night” award. All told, he has won 17 of his last 18 fights. As for McKinney, after he made an impression in his UFC debut by scoring a seven-second knockout win in mid-2021, he followed it up with an impressive finish in his sophomore effort by submitting Fares Ziam via rear-naked choke in the very first round. He has now won five straight and has quickly captured the hearts of UFC fans, making him a must-see star on the rise.
Biggest Loser: Misha Cirkunov
Once a promising prospect, Cirkunov has fallen on hard times as of late. After beginning his UFC career with four straight wins — three via submission and one knockout — the hulking Middleweight has now lost three straight, including his latest setback against Turman, Overall, Cirkunov is just 2-6 in his last eight fights under the UFC banner. It’s never fun to see a fighter lose his job, but I just don’t see how the promotion keeps him around after his horrid stretch. If he is lucky enough to get one more shot inside the Octagon, he will be going in with immense pressure knowing it’s likely do or die.
For complete UFC Vegas 49 results and coverage click here.