Eddie Alvarez reveals why he turned down UFC 223 offer after declaring he would be ready
When the time came to make good on his UFC 223 vow, Eddie Alvarez was unable to follow through on it.
It wasn't that long ago when Eddie Alvarez announced on the MMA hour that if Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov fell through for the fourth time, he would be ready to step in.
“They’re 0-3 there, so somebody might get scrapped, so I’ll be ready for that.”
As everyone knows by now, UFC 223 has had a last minute headline change. A knee injury suffered by Ferguson means that he has been ruled out of the biggest fight of his career. On six days' notice, featherweight champion Max Holloway will step up and fight Nurmagomedov for the soon-to-be-vacant lightweight belt.
Unfortunately for Alvarez, he just wasn't ready to step in to fight the undefeated Dagestani.
What could have been... #UFC223 https://t.co/FCnk8mF77X
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 3, 2018
Like so many others, Alvarez initially thought Ferguson's withdrawal was an April Fools' prank. When his manager Llyod told him that 'El Cucuy' suffered the injury by tripping over a cable, his suspicions were raised. Once it was confirmed to him, he was 'just as shocked and disappointed' as everyone else.
In an Instagram story, 'the Underground King' explained that he was too damn heavy to accept the offer. If he was given more time, it would have been a possibility, but six days was simply too tall of an order.
“It would have been great to be ready for that fight and be ready to step in and save the day, but unfortunately, I am way, way too big to make the 155-pound limit on six days’ notice. I think most guys at 155, especially in the top five, can’t make that 155-pound limit on six days’ notice.”
Man of his word #UFC223 https://t.co/TGNiNB5s6C
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 2, 2018
Alvarez believes that he wasn't the first choice replacement for Ferguson. He got a sense that the promotion was shopping around by contacting him in order to see if they could fight anyone able to make championship weight. That being said, he did feel he let himself down by refusing the offer.
“I’ll be honest, I’m disappointed in myself a little bit because I kind of had the foresight to see this happening. I even talked about it happening but when it got like three to four weeks out, I just said ‘Fuck it, these guys are gonna fight. There’s really no reason for me to be ready.’"
“I’m every bit of 190 right now so there wasn’t even a small chance that I could make 155. What I did do was speak we the UFC all day long and we explored other options. I asked about doing a catchweight, welterweight but all they asked me was what’s the lowest that I could get to. That was most of our conversation. I’m probably a little more than 190. I’m heavier than I’ve ever been because I haven’t fought in a long time.”
He added that fighting such an elite specialist like Nurmagomedov on such short notice would have been a terrible idea. In his eyes, cardio would be crucial in that match-up. He did, however, praise Holloway for answering the call.