Eddie Alvarez reveals more details about his gameplan to beat Conor McGregor
No one can ever accuse Eddie Alvarez of being short of confidence in his own ability to beat Conor McGregor.
The undisputed UFC lightweight champion is scheduled to defend his belt against the Notorious at UFC 205 and he appears to be the paragon of calmness three weeks out from fight night.
A legitimate superfight between two champions will provide the perfect headline act for a historic first card in the Big Apple and although McGregor may claim otherwise, Alvarez told MMA Roasted podcast that the East Coast fans can thank him for getting this bout finalised.
"I'm the one who made the Conor McGregor fight happen. He never had any intention of fighting me. Every time I said his name I didn't get any response, I didn't get anything. This is a guy who responds and talks shit to everyone, but every time I talked to the media and tried to drum up a fight or anything like that there'd be no response. So it was obvious that he really didn't want this fight. It was only when I won the belt that they decided to get a crack at the belt."
"When I joined the UFC I fought the best guys in the division back-to-back-to-back, that was my strategy. I told the media I was tired of getting asked about Conor McGregor, so I told them I could use an easier fight and that's why it happened."
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) September 27, 2016
On paper, McGregor has two obvious strengths that should play into his favour against the Underground King - his wingspan and that seismic left hand. The Notorious will have a five-inch reach advantage and famed Tri-Star coach Firas Zahabi reckons he possess the "death touch" in his patented Celtic cross.
However, neither of these things concern Alvarez because he has the utmost faith in that gameplan Mark Henry had been working on well in advance of this fight even being booked.
"I'm never concerned about what a guy's strength is or what his weaknesses are, I just prepare properly. That's what allowed me to win numerous world titles and beat the best guys in the world. Everything's in preparation."
Alvarez is well aware that McGregor's a stud on the feet, but he believes he's more equipped to deal with that thunderous left hand than most MMA fighters. Growing up in the Elephant's Graveyard of Kensington, PA has given him a lot of insight into the art of boxing.
"To me, he's just a left hand. He's just a guy with a left hand. That's how I see him. He does something that we call a 'rock back' well. Mayweather does it. A lot of Philly fighters do it. He (McGregor) lives and breathes off it. A lot of MMA guys don't know about these boxing things that they do. This is a move that's very easily taken away and we're going to dominate every step of the way."
"Without giving away a gameplan or anything, everything's taken away with the proper preparation. I'm confident in my coaches, I'm confident in our gameplan and our ability to go out there and do it. We're just following this gameplan step-by-step."
We'll have to wait until November 12 to see if Henry actually has created the perfect gameplan to negate McGregor's strengths. Until then, you get the feeling Alvarez isn;t going to divulge too much about his tactical approach to the fight.
In the latest GAA Hour, we talk to Ken McGrath of Waterford and with Declan Brennan about a new club players' association.