The UFC’s triumphant return to New York, at UFC 205, is now only 27 days away and anticipation continues to grow for the headline event of Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez facing off for the lightweight title.
Ever since UFC president Dana White announced the potentially historic fight, not a day has passed without some new story involving one or the other protagonists.
Following the UFC 205 press conference theatrics between the pair, both fighters have given their opinions on the other and have both made some strong claims about the way the fight will go.
First up was McGregor with his assessment of his opponent. The featherweight champion began by doffing his cap to Alvarez, before predicting an inevitable ending during a recent interview, stating,
“He’s tough, he’s a tough kid. He’s got some good fights under his belt. I’m expecting him to come in with heart but I don’t see it going well for him. I feel he’ll be unconscious.
“I think my fist is bigger than his head. I’m going to plant him with a shot, and it’s ‘good night’. It’s going to be early, and it’s going to be devastating.”
Now, as if in response to McGregor’s predictions, the lightweight champion, has made some assertions of his own. Speaking to Flo Combat, Alvarez is confident that their fight will end well for him, insisting,
“It’s my fight to win. I won’t say it’s easy, especially against a guy who has the crowd like that on his side, but I’m going to get this job done and I’m going to get it done violently and quickly.”
He went on to claim that he believes he has identified McGregor’s biggest weakness, something he is confident of exploiting.
“Technically, I think Conor’s a good fighter. He probably does a lot of drills so technically he’s sound, but for me, fighting after a certain point, technique doesn’t matter in a championship fight. It comes down to will, it comes down to spirit and your willingness to win the fight. I think that’s the main ingredient to what makes a champion and I think that’s what he’s missing.”
“I honestly feel that’s what he’s missing. He’s very technical, he’s a clean good fighter for a round, round and a half, but when you get deeper into a fight we’ve all seen him in moments of adversity and it doesn’t look good to me – it doesn’t look like championship calibre. It doesn’t look like someone who’s willing to take a beating and get on that stool and come back out and give it back to the guy.”
While assured in his assessment of McGregor’s calibre, many fans will argue that the Notorious’ epic five-round war with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in August negates Alvarez’s entire argument.
‘What about round four?’, fans will cry in unison.
So there you go. As expected, each fighter is supremely confident, each is having a mental dig at the other as they prepare for the biggest fight of their careers.
In four weeks fans will see just who will stand smugly over their predictions.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena