Joel Alvarez unleashes striking clinic to tear through Thiago Moises

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Joel Alvarez put on a clinic at UFC Fight Night 197 on Saturday and may have inserted himself right into the lightweight contenders picture.

Alvarez (19-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) made it look relatively easy against Thiago Moises (15-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) with a TKO at the 3:01 mark of the opening round. The only downside at all for Alvarez in the win was that he came in heavy for the fight, making him ineligible for a post-fight bonus award.

Alvarez used every bit of his standup arsenal against Moises – punches, kicks, knees and elbows. With Moises backed up against the fence, Alvarez kept the pressure on and with elbows unleashed, he soon had a standing TKO.

“I’ve always said I was a striker. I’m here to strike. I can do it,” Alvarez said in his post-fight interview. “It doesn’t matter (who I fight next). I want to be top 15 in the (division). I’ll take any of them.”

Alvarez has four straight wins after a decision loss in his UFC debut in February 2019, and all four of the wins have been by stoppage. The past three have been in the first round.

UFC Fight Night 197 took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streamed on ESPN+.