The one-time rival of the current UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, Eddie Alvarez recently revealed his newfound respect for the Irishman after the performance he put in against Floyd Mayweather last month.
Rivalries in MMA can often be a fickle thing. Sure, nasty words are exchanged and the tension can often be riveting but for the most part, when all is said and done inside the octagon, a respect is formed that eclipses any form of hostility that would have perhaps been rampant up until that point.
UFC 205 saw Conor McGregor once again attempt to make history as he strove to achieve what no other UFC fighter had done before by winning two titles simultaneously. Eddie Alvarez – a man who had held belts in practically every organisation he had fought in prior to moving to the UFC – stood toe-to-toe with the ‘Notorious One’ and though the Aldo and Diaz-rivalries were ones that held more acidity, it became pretty clear early on that bad blood was brewing between those two.
On the night itself, McGregor – in front of a packed Madison Square Garden – put on the performance of a lifetime, shutting down the Philly-native completely from the get-go before TKO’ing him with a beautifully executed barrage of strikes in the second round.
History was made and from there Conor moved on to bigger and better things, dragging the retired-boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather into one last matchup, a fight billed by many as the biggest in the history of combat sports – at least from a financial perspective, that is.
Alvarez, despite being on the receiving end of a brutal mauling at UFC 205, spoke to Preston & Steve on 93.3 WMMR Rocks about his experience actually attending the fight and funnily enough, how if McGregor survived another twenty-five seconds it would have jeopardized his big-money bet.
The respect he has for Conor’s performance is clear though and he – like most others who watched the fight – saw its outcome as a win for the sport of MMA and to a certain extent, a bridging of the gap that had formed between it and boxing over the years.
Alvarez is a classy competitor through and through as always, something he proved once again when he recently visited injured GAA player Aaron Elliot, a man who experienced tragedy recently when he was hit by a car on August 26, the very night that Alvarez was watching McGregor’s foray into boxing.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena