Opinions about Conor McGregor don't come bland. Whether it's a rival or a dispassionate observer, the UFC featherweight champion elicits strong takes from every direction about who he is, what he'll accomplish and just how good of a fighter he can actually be.
On that last count, views have largely swung toward the idea that McGregor is one of the better fighters in the sport. He's undefeated in the UFC and took the belt from long-time champion Jose Aldo in a mere 13 seconds. But for former Bellator lightweight champion and current lightweight contender Eddie Alvarez, defeating McGregor really isn't that difficult a task.
When asked for a prediction about McGregor's upcoming lightweight title fight against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196, Alvarez claimed making the Dublin native suffer defeat is a matter or prioritizing the right kind of attack.
"For me, it's a very simple fight for RDA to win, but he needs to implement a ground attack. If he don't, I honestly feel like he can get knocked out, just like the other guys Conor was able to knock out. But he can't allow it to be mostly of a striking," Alvarez said on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour.
"I hate when guys who are from a BJJ background and a good wrestling background abandon their whole base and their whole fundamental because a lot of guys around them are telling them that they're really good strikers. I hope RDA doesn't do that. I hope he sticks to what he's good at and wins the fight in a dominant fashion the way he can, the way I feel like a lot of guys can that aren't doing it against Conor."
More than that, though, Alvarez said attacking McGregor on the ground isn't merely the better route to victory, but an easy path.
"There's a simple way to win against this guy and nobody seems to be doing it. It's really frustrating to watch," he said.
"I feel like he'll look foolish. I honestly feel it could be an embarrassment. It could be like everyone in the crowd going, 'Wow, that was it? Why didn't anybody else do that?' It could be that surprising to people. That's how I feel. We just haven't seen him there."
For those who push back claiming McGregor's ground game has been tested against Chad Mendes at UFC 189, Alvarez begged to differ. He argued the style Mendes chose to employ only works with a full camp. Without it, it's impossible to use it effectively.
"Let's talk about that for one second," Alvarez continued. "Mendes is primarily a wrestler, correct? Primarily a wrestler. In order to implement a wrestling attack, it takes a ton of energy and a ton of conditioning and energy. You can't roll off the couch and implement a wrestling attack against a guy. It's just not going to happen. You need to be conditioned. You need to be in shape.
"If you're a wrestler and you're rolling off the couch and going to fight, essentially, you have no weapons. You have none. Your only weapon wrestling is no good because you're not conditioned."
In short, Alvarez argued there's still an element to McGregor's game that isn't up to snuff and the instant someone tries to exploit that specific weakness, the entire McGregor following and persona could metaphorically go up in smoke.
"The guy hasn't been in the fight we need to see him in," he said. "Nobody's implemented an attack and when someone does, it's over. This whole show's over. The whole goddamn spectacle's over. I don't know why no one's doing it. It's very frustrating."