The UFC’s former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez recently gave his own opinion on the hot topic that is Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor and despite his well-publicised history with everyone’s favourite Irishman, his views on the subject were fair and balanced, all things considered.
As devoted fans of the sport of mixed martial arts, during this modern era, we have been blessed with some truly awe-inspiring title-winning performances. Memories of the likes of Dillashaw-Barao, Dos Anjos-Pettis and Garbrandt-Cruz are among the first to spring to mind but the one that perhaps eclipses each and every one of them in terms of its near-flawless execution was the promotion’s current lightweight champion McGregor’s absolute trouncing of Alvarez at last year’s UFC 205.
Madison Square Garden played host to its first mixed martial arts event last November and though the show’s main event comprised of three title fights, there were no doubts about who the fans had come to see.
No man had ever managed to hold two UFC belts simultaneously and though the then-featherweight champion had made a habit of defying expectation, in Eddie Alvarez, he faced what was undoubtedly the biggest test of his career at that point.
When the octagon doors closed that night, however, the manner in which he pulled off his historic victory left no doubt that he was deserving of his spot within the UFC’s top-five pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Alvarez was shut down completely from the first bell and after just under two rounds of the scheduled five, referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy had seen enough and declared McGregor the victor. It was a tough pill for the Philadelphia-native to swallow but in the time since he has done nothing but endear himself to fight-fans with his humble and fair views on what went down that night.
With his old foe McGregor now locked in yet another historical contest – this time with boxing’s Floyd Mayweather – Alvarez spoke to ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto on a recent edition of his Five Rounds podcast to give his own take on the ever-present topic and despite the animosity that once loomed large between the two, his views on the subject were nothing short of admirable.
“Conor has about three or four rounds to get this done. And when this comes down to being a technical boxing match – which is usually around round four – it usually goes to the more technical boxer. I think that within those four rounds if you don’t think Conor can knock this guy out, you’re an idiot, or you just don’t know fighting cause it can very well happen.
“If he doesn’t get it done by then, it could look very one-sided. The technical boxing of Floyd Mayweather is enough to make it look very one-sided for him. But, Conor, there is a very real chance that he could put him away.”
Of course, Conor has now moved far from the UFC’s 155lb division with this latest endeavor but despite this, Alvarez still holds out hope that he can one day earn the opportunity to right the wrongs in performance at UFC 205 and throw down with McGregor in a rematch, even if he realises it will probably never happen.
“I hope so. There are some things I would change, some things I would want to make right and I really hope so. It’s a small probability but if it could, I’d be blessed to be able to get back in there and redeem myself.”
The interview can be listened to in full below and though Alvarez touches on many subjects throughout, when listened to as a whole, it gives a good sense of the man behind the fighter and how he has been able to move on from his setback like the champion he is.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena