NEW YORK – Looking like Rocky with his jump rope and a blue collar 15-miniute workout, Philadelphia's own Eddie Alvarez isn't lacking confidence heading into his UFC 205 main event with Conor McGregor.
The UFC lightweight champion chanted "And Still!" after he finished up at the open workouts Wednesday, and spoke for a few moments about how he plans on keeping his title.
"I think I'm going to land that big shot," he said on the New York Knicks basketball court at Madison Square Garden. "I think this guy's worried about a lot of grappling and a lot of wrestling. I think where it's going to end up, when his mind's on that I'm going to land that big shot and then I'm going to submit him."
Alvarez, who won the 155-pound belt back in July by defeating Rafael dos Anjos, is an underdog heading into his big fight Saturday. He looked — and spoke — like a man who was ready to prove odds-makers wrong.
"Hey, I'm blessed," he said. "Whether you've got a red, white and orange flag, it don't matter what you go. You're here and I appreciate you guys."
As for the moment? Alvarez was soaking in the scene Wednesday.
"Magic, pure magic," he said. "Look, I fought 13 years to put my life to put myself on this stage, in front of the biggest crowd, and I am super-excited to go out there and do something violent, and do something high-paced."
Alvarez said his only hope was that McGregor brings the fight to him.