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Eddie Alvarez on Conor McGregor: 'He’s not a championship fighter'

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Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Eddie Alvarez isn't aboard the Conor McGregor hype train.

Even before Nate Diaz gave McGregor his first loss inside the UFC Octagon March 5 at UFC 196, Alvarez wasn't shy about letting the world know he saw obvious, glaring holes in the Irish fighter's game.

When Diaz cranked the volume in Round 2 of his UFC 196 affair and eventually submitted McGregor, many thought that was the game plan Alvarez spoke of. Chatting with Ariel Helwani on last Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, though, Alvarez said there's still another, even easier way to defeat McGregor inside the cage.

"That wasn’t the secret I was talking about," Alvarez told Helwani. "The secret I was talking about is just taking the guy down, dumping him on his head, and then submitting him."

The primary struggle for McGregor in that fight, Alvarez believes, was Diaz's reach.

"Nate has a reach, and I think everybody was so up on Conor, and Nate just has this, he has a weirdly long, long reach, and it’s difficult to deal with," Alvarez said. "Unless you have guys in front of you who are 6’, 6’2" boxers throwing punches at you, it’s hard to prepare in that way. He’s sort of an awkward opponent to deal with, and you need the right guys in front of you to deal with that. Conor just couldn’t adjust."

From there, Alvarez entered Diaz-in-round-two mode when talking about McGregor, calling out the current featherweight champ's ability to truly thrive when the fight lasts more than a round or two.

"And to be honest with you, Conor’s a one-or-two-round fighter," Alvarez said. "He’s not a championship fighter, you know what I mean? He’s a one-or-two-round guy. He’ll be a lifer, I think, in three-rounders. If he ever decides to do five-rounders or go past to five, I think most of his fights are going to look like that. He’s going to take a dump."

While McGregor had the chance to avenge his loss to Diaz July 9 at UFC 200, Alvarez doesn't really see the need to run this one back. The results, he thinks, will be the same.

"Oh, yeah [I’m expecting Diaz to win again]," Alvarez said. "Look, Conor couldn’t even win for two rounds. If he has to deal with any amount of adversity, how’s he going to end up winning? He was beating the sh*t out of Nate. If you can’t win for two rounds, how are you going to be in a fight with Nate Diaz? He was winning. He was beating the sh*t out of him. And he couldn’t keep up with his own winning. That was odd to me."