Despite his on-again-off-again success in the UFC, Eddie Alvarez is an exceptional fighter. That dude is the only guy to be both a Bellator and UFC lightweight champion. If you go further back, he’s beat the who’s who of anyone in his division from the soil of America to the shores of Japan in smaller promotions. Most of which were former champions in their own right. That’s how he became the king of the underground.
If there’s one who knows Conor McGregor, it’s Alvarez. After causing Joey Diaz to have an aneurysm after he beat Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight belt, Alvarez lost it directly to McGregor in a flurry of super Sayain punches. You’d think that would make Eddie salty, but he thinks you’re a fool is you don’t think Conor McGregor can beat Floyd Mayweather.
— UFC (@ufc) August 14, 2017
“A lot of boxing fans are looking at Conor like he’s never ever boxed. Even the way they’re talking, it’s like they’re writing him of like he’s never boxed. I boxed. He understands boxing. I think that his chance is going to happen within the first four rounds. And Conor can, I think you’re a fool if you don’t think Conor can put Floyd away. I think he can, I think he can land a punch and put Floyd away. I think if it goes path the fourth round where it can become a technical boxing match, I think it can look one-sided. Floyd’s the king of that. He’s the king of kind of swimming and not getting wet, he can punch and not get hit. I think if it goes further past five, six, seven, eight, he could win by TKO. Before that time, that’s where Conor’s time is.”
That’s a pretty great take coming from a former Conor McGregor opponent in Eddie Alvarez. We’ve watched McGregor in the UFC fade in later rounds. It’s one of the things that gave him his first loss to Nate Diaz. Even if his cardio is in elite condition, his best chances to win against Floyd Mayweather do lie in the earlier rounds. If Floyd takes McGregor’s best missile-powered lefts — or doesn’t get hit with them at all for five rounds — it could end up very badly for McGregor. But still, even if Mayweather by a demoralizing point lead, it’s probably a win in the eyes of McGregor and the MMA world.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/15/2017.