Little more than a week out from Conor McGregor’s much-anticipated clash with Eddie Alvarez, the American is seriously confident.
The pair meet at UFC 205 on November 12 at Madison Square Garden as the Dubliner returns to the Octagon for the first time since edging out Nate Diaz back at UFC 202.
Speaking to Sportsmail, Alvarez opened up on the lightweight bout, firing some serious shots at McGregor in the process. He was first asked if this would be the biggest win of his career.
“No, I would have had wins that have meant more to me than this one. But as far as shutting his mouth and giving him some humility, it will be an honour.
“A lot of people will show up to cheer for him but a lot of people are also going to show up and enjoy watching him be defeated.”
The champ then discussed his preparation for next Saturday’s fight before being asked where his opponent ranked in the pantheon of great fighters.
“The coaches couldn’t be happier. Every week we’ve progressed. Every week we’ve got faster, stronger and got more endurance. We’re ready, 100 per cent ready.
“I wouldn’t say very highly in the grand scheme of things. Throughout my long career I’ve fought the best in the world and I don’t think he has.
“When you talk about Rafael dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone and Gilbert Melendez, these are guys who have been in the sport for over 10 years, fighting the best in the world and proving themselves.
“I feel like he still has proving to do if he wants to call himself one of the best. He is going to have to get through a guy like me to even be able to scratch at that.”
The “Underground King” did admit that the featherweight champion does have some qualities, but nothing he can’t deal with.
“Of course, he has that left hand and I think he has good reflexes. I think his reflexes are some of the quickest in the division but it only lasts for seven or eight minutes and then it goes away. It’s a non-issue after that time.”
Alvarez, who stopped Rafael Dos Anjos for the lightweight strap in July, is a 6/5 outsider with some bookmakers for the fight but is impressively confident despite the Notorious One’s famed power.
“I have the experience in lightweight fights, just pure experience. Experience in being in bad situations and overcoming them.
“I’ve been training my whole life for these championship fights, I know how to deal with them and I don’t think he does.
“I think the fight will end inside of two rounds. Around the nine minute mark I should be able to overcome him. We will put him in some bad situations early and start getting him to doubt himself and when that happens it’s the beginning of the end.”
Finally, he was asked what will become of McGregor should he be overcome.
“Who gives a sh*t?”
The Philadelphia native’s record speaks for itself with 28 wins in 32 MMA bouts including victories over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis as well as dethroning Dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 90.
His style is certainly a challenge for McGregor but is Alvarez’s confidence appropriate given the Irishman’s record?
We’re about to find out.
Rory Murphy, Pundit Arena