Alvarez is defending his lightweight title against the brash talking UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor this Saturday and, as is typically the case, McGregor has been full of bravado and confidence and predictions of first round knockout victories. These mind games are part and parcel of McGregor and have been an effective pre-fight tool for him in the past. But speaking recently with Damon Martin on the Fight Society podcast, Alvarez said McGregor isn't getting in his head at all.
"He's the least intimidating man I've ever met. The least. I've never been face-to-face with a man and my heart rate has not gone up or something I felt inside emotionally, that has never happened to me until I was on stage at the press conference at Madison Square Garden where I literally felt nothing. I felt the least threatened in my life...
"I'd be lying to you and the whole public if I told you Conor McGregor was the most dangerous opponent I've ever come up against... I'd be bald-faced lying to you. The opponent I had before him [Rafael dos Anjos] was much, much harder. He had many more dimensions and that's just how I feel."
This isn't a new position for Alvarez. The lightweight champion has maintained for a long time that McGregor just isn't as good as his previous opponents and is a limited fighter. Alvarez does admit that McGregor has some skills but alleges he's mostly just the product of hype and circumstance. When speaking with UFC Tonight, he doubled down on this assertion and predicted a dominant display for himself come Saturday night.
"I'm a fighter. I see what's real and I see what's not. I'm able to distinguish the talk from what's real. What I see in the octagon, I see a scrawny, skinny Irishman who's about to get a beatdown."
What he might also be seeing is his natural advantages. Alvarez is the reigning lightweight champion whereas McGregor has spent the majority of his UFC career at featherweight. Alvarez is also coming off the best performance of his career, a sensational upset TKO victory to take the lightweight title from Rafael dos Anjos. Still, on Saturday night "The Underground King" will be facing an offensive dynamo coming off the best performance of his own career, one who has predicted a first round KO win and one who has been remarkably prescient in many of his previous fight predictions. Despite "Mystic Mac's" proclivity for prognostication though, Alvarez is feeling the confidence of a champion.
"Most of Conor's talk, the majority of it, is self-talk. It's him trying to convince himself that he can do these things. I'm a fighter. No one's gonna do this stuff to me. No one has ever done it, no one ever will."
Eddie Alvarez defends his lightweight championship against Conor McGregor at UFC 205 on Saturday evening in Madison Square Garden.
Long time. Jon Jones was stripped of the UFC interim light heavyweight title following his USADA suspension.
Matt Brown. Conor McGregor says on Saturday night he will be "immortal."
Nate Diaz. Eddie Alvarez believes he will hurt Conor McGregor on the feet before submitting him.
Leverage. Khabib Nurmagomedov believes he was "used" by the UFC in McGregor-Alvarez negotiations.
Viva. Donald Cerrone thinks a fighters union "revolution" is incoming.
Promises are always kept. Chris Weidman says he's "guaranteed" a title shot with a win over Yoel Romero.
More Mac for you.
TTTHS double dip.
Not gonna happen.
My coveted ESPY award for 'Best Fighter 2016'— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 10, 2016
I am only warming up. pic.twitter.com/p5tG2HqbfR
If he was American, he'd end up being President one day.
This confidence comes from my big ballsack pic.twitter.com/V51HTQa16U— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 10, 2016
And people laughed at me when i brought in a basketball coach— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) November 9, 2016
Good to see.
The @ufc is being amazing. I don't hand out compliments I have nothing but praise about how they are dealing with my fight falling through.— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 9, 2016
Respect the hell out of this shotgun strategy right here.
@SpiderAnderson was curious if you had any plans November 12? Want to meet me in New York at Madison Square Garden?— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 8, 2016
@nickdiaz209 UFC 205 might need your help. Not sure if you want to come to New York this weekend. I heard somebody needs an opponent...— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 8, 2016
@bisping I heard you were going to be in New York are at Madison Square Garden for UFC 205. Feel like trying to redeem a beatdown you got?— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 8, 2016
I'm gonna beat him like his credit score. Just under 5.— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) November 8, 2016
Kind of neat.
So when is he going to actually fight?
Tsuyoshi Kosaka (27-18-2) vs. Kaido Hoovelson (2-0); RIZIN 3, December 29.
Symon Bajor (16-6) vs. Valentin Moldavsky (4-0); RIZIN 3, December 29.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2006: Matt Serra defeated Chris Lytle by split decision to win The Ultimate Fighter season four welterweight tournament and a shot at the UFC welterweight title. Travis Lutter also submitted Patrick Cote with an armbar to win the middleweight title shot. On the undercard Scott Smith scored one of the most exciting KO's in UFC history when he knocked out Pete Sell despite having his body crumpled up from a Sell punch to the liver.
Sorry about the absence yesterday everyone. I was traveling for MMA Fighting and complications ensued. Back to business as usual.
Be good to each other and have the best day possible. See you tomorrow.
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