Coach John Kavanagh on McGregor vs. Alvarez: This Was a Massive Mismatch

Conor McGregor

Last Saturday, in the main event of UFC 205, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor knocked out lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez with beautiful, second-round combination. This seemingly effortless victory rendered the Irish star the first fighter in UFC history to own titles in two divisions simultaneously.

While many members of the MMA community were shocked by the ease with which McGregor defeated Alvarez, McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh was not. Being very careful not to disparage Alvarez’s personality or toughness, the famed coach explained his confidence in McGregor on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.

“I was thinking about how I was going to say this, because I know it’ll be taken out of context,” Kavanagh said cautiously on the show. “And it’s absolutely no comment on Eddie’s personality, as a person he seems like a great guy, solid fighter. But if we’re just looking at skill-sets, I felt going in ­– and it was a little bit my reasoning to be able to take in the week – that this was a massive mismatch.”

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“Again, that’s nothing to say about him as a person,” he continued. “I’m just saying skills wise, I really felt that this would look worse than the [Marcus] Brimage fight, but that style of fight where he would just be always too late, always getting hit, fall apart. I did think his toughness would take him into the second round, which it did, but skill-set wise, I just thought it was a massive mismatch. And I will humbly offer the evidence of the fight as warranting that.”

“All of our sparring partners, all of the people back home, we all saw this thinking, ‘this is going to be a bad fight, this is going to look terrible.’ Whereas Nate was so interesting because of the style-wise and size-wise – not a massive size difference but enough to make it interesting, enough to offer new problems. But this one, an orthodox, head-down brawler with a sort of simple style of wrestling, not very complicated, I just thought, you have to bring a hell of lot more than that to the plate to trouble what I think is the best fighter on the planet right now. That’s how the fight played out so I think it’s backed up.” 

Did you think Conor McGregor would defeat Eddie Alvarez as easily as he did? Sound off, PENN Nation!