During his meteoric rise, one of Conor McGregor’s most notable opponents was Eddie Alvarez. Now the Underground King reacts to the Irishman’s recent defeat, and talks about a fight that he would love to have in the future.
Back in 2016, McGregor fought Alvarez in the attempt to become the UFC’s first ever champ-champ. As we all know, he was successful here, putting on a masterclass and picking apart the then-lightweight champion.
Following that fight, Conor went on to do a variety of crazy things, while Eddie went on about his UFC career. The Underground King would have some insane wars, before eventually becoming a free agent and signing with ONE Championship.
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Conor McGregor Needs To Find Himself Again
Last weekend, at UFC 257, Conor McGregor suffered the first TKO loss of his career, at the hands of Dustin Poirier. Both of these men are past opponents of Eddie Alvarez, but he was still impressed by what Dustin was able to do.
Speaking in a recent interview, Eddie says that this was the exact gameplan that he thought Dustin needed to get the win. That being said, he was still surprised that Dustin was able to get it done.
“(Dustin) put a sprint on (Conor),” Alvarez said.
“Mike Brown had a good gameplan of chopping that lead leg down, they chopped that down really well. Then Dustin put that sprint on him that Dustin does so well.
“It caused panic, caused Conor to make mistakes. Conor wasn’t able to stay outside and be creative, and Dustin put him away. He has the power to do that.
“If anybody deserves the accolades and that kind of victory, and a big crowd, it’s Dustin Poirier. He’s fought the best of the best in that division, one after another, and he deserves that victory.”
As for the future of Conor McGregor, Eddie Alvarez is hesitant to say that his best days are behind him. However he does feel that Conor needs to get his priorities straight, and rediscover the fighter within himself, that he had early in his career.
“I think it’s difficult to fight with $100 million. It’s very simple to fight when you ain’t got a pot to piss in or a window to throw it off,” Alvarez explained.
“You almost have to fight. It needs to become part of your character in order to be successful. You need to become a fighter.
“(Conor’s) done that, and he’s showed that he can do that and beat the best guys in the world when he’s hungry and motivated. He’s got to sit down, reevaluate some things, and find that guy again that he was.
“I think he’s inside of him, but it’s a matter of bringing him out, evoking that ego, evoking that guy again. It’s going to be his own choice and his own desire.”
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Eddie Alvarez Can Beat Khabib Nurmagomedov
While he has faced most of the elite lightweights in the sport, one person that Eddie Alvarez has missed in his career, is undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Although he is in ONE Championship right now, Eddie believes that he has the skills needed to beat the Dagestani. Looking at the one time Khabib had problems, he feels that he can use his own skills to beat the champ.
“I’m his only matchup that would make any sense, or give him a terrible time,” Alvarez said.
“There’s one guy that gave him a terrible time in the whole division, and this is just the truth. (Gleison) Tibau gave him a terrible time because Tibau was not overly great at anything.
“Neither am I. I’m not overly great at anything. You say ‘What is Eddie great at?’ I’m not great at anything. I’m not a great striker, I’m not a great wrestler or great jiu-jitsu guy.
“I’m athletic, I have a strong spirit, a strong heart, and I will fight, I’ll fight to the death.”
“Tibau had a great, solid gameplan, and he arguably won that fight. He was able to match Khabib’s strengths, he was able to throw good, straight shots, and he was able to negate a lot of Khabib’s wrestling,” Alvarez continued.
“That’s what I’m able to do against virtually every opponent I’ve fought. Styles make matchup, and anybody who’s in this sport at a high level knows that. I just think that matchup in general would have been something special.”
Unfortunately it seems like Eddie Alvarez and Khabib Nurmagomedov will likely never fight. Although it is an interesting fight to daydream about, and ponder how it would have unfolded.