UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez appeared recently on The Countdown with Michael Bisping and talked about his fight with featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 205.
Pre-fight trash talk is a staple of mixed martial arts, but this assessment seemed genuine.
“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,” said Alvarez as transcribed by Jim Edwards for FloCombat. “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 caliber. 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.”
“I’ve been in the game long enough–I can be very patient. I can punch, I can knock people out, I can kick, I can wrestle, and I can takedown–I don’t have to rush anything. I can take my time and be patient and find my opening. When I do, I always felt like there are big holes in his game that are there to be exploited.
“The opponents that have been picked in the past with him, if you know anything about fighting, have been picked for him to win. I don’t think he’s come up against anyone like myself who is able to do the things I’m able to do.”
“We have someone coming in, but as far as boxing I’ve trained alongside Bernard Hopkins and some of the best. I’ve also trained with some of the best southpaws in Philadelphia, and I spar regularly with pro boxers.”
“Mark Henry has been game planning for Conor for a little bit, because he thought Frankie Edgar was going to go after him. Before we even had the fight Mark Henry had the game plan, so we already knew what we wanted to do, what Conor was strong at, and what Conor was weak at. The good thing is he just recently fought and you can’t change much in that amount of time.
“We got a good scanner report, a good game plan, and I think just stylistically 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.”