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Morning Report: Eddie Alvarez is willing to fight 'whoever the UFC wants,' says Conor McGregor isn't a 'championship fighter'

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UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez says he will fight whoever the UFC wants him to fight but he wants to do so on the Madison Square Garden card.

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Eddie Alvarez is taking all comers.

Since winning the UFC lightweight championship from Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 90 in July, Alvarez has maintained that he is looking for a big money fight for his first title defense, preferably against the winner of the Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz rematch which took place this past weekend. However, now that that fight is in the books, Alvarez appears less particular about who he faces next.

Speaking with Jon Anik and Kenny Florian on the Anik and Florian podcast yesterday, Alvarez talked about McGregor's win over Diaz and what is next for himself.

"I'm waiting on the UFC. Whoever the UFC wants. I was looking forward to watching that fight this weekend with these two guys and we'll see. I don't know what's gonna happen. I'm waiting to hear from the powers that be. I'll fight whoever they want next. That's who's next."

It appears Alvarez cooled on the idea of fighting the winner of UFC 202's main event after watching the trouble McGregor had with Diaz, afterwards tweeting that McGregor has "work to do" (this could be great news for number one contender Khabib Nurmagomedov who has been angling for a lightweight title shot and who says Alvarez has already turned down multiple fights against him). He expanded on this with Anik and Florian, telling them that McGregor isn't a championship caliber fighter.

"Honestly, the first round it all looked good but I've said it a million times, he's just not a championship fighter. Not a five, 5-minute round fighter. Never has been, never will be. Some guys can have the chops for it and some guys don't. I've said it from the beginning, I looked at him as a three, 5-minute round fighter and that's where he'll be, that's where he should stay. I think he's good. I think anything past 8-9 minutes it just starts to look sloppy and looks a little messy."

After a strong first round, McGregor held off a late surge from Diaz, taking a close, majority decision in a Fight of the Year contender. In many people's eyes, this fight cemented McGregor as one of the best fighters in the world, though Alvarez is apparently not one of them. Alvarez, who previously said McGregor "can't fight for shit," maintains that the featherweight champion isn't up to par with the opponents he has already beaten.

"I've fought the best guys in the world...I look up to a lot of the guys I fight. I see them as some of the best guys. I try to challenge myself against them. But when I beat a legit guy who I feel has taken his time in this sport and is a real fighter and then I get done with the fight and I get asked about this Irish dude it's really kind of disappointing to me...because the guys I've fought were way higher caliber than this guy."

And despite Alvarez's new laissez-faire attitude towards title defenses, that "Irish dude" may well end up being Alvarez's next opponent. UFC President Dana White has stated that the UFC won't be doing the McGregor-Diaz trilogy next and, speaking with TMZ today, said that McGregor has to defend his 145-pound belt next or vacate it...unless he fights Eddie Alvarez. A champion vs. champion bout between Alvarez and the sport's biggest star is exactly the kind of fight the UFC will be looking to headline one of the biggest events of the year, the UFC's Madison Square Garden debut. If so, the lightweight champ would be more than happy to oblige.

"I'm loving the Madison Square Garden card. I don't think Philadelphia is possible but anything on the east coast would be incredible. So Madison Square Garden, show me my opponent, show me who's next."

The Alvarez interview starts around the 20:30 mark.

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MUST-READ STORIES

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Doing God's work. USADA is investigating Nate Diaz's use of a vape pen after UFC 202.

Still underpaid. Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz both cashed seven figure paydays at UFC 202.

Well deserved break. Conor McGregor potentially out six months for medical suspension.

Giving Aldo the same chance you got? John Kavanagh says he "doesn't see the point" in Conor McGregor returning to featherweight.

Would watch. Tim Means says supplements are like Russian roulette, wants to fight Donald Cerrone next.

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EXTRA CREDIT READING

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Slack. Jack Slack of Fightland on Diaz-McGregor 2.

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MEDIA STEW

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The man is coming.

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Colin Cowherd obviously didn't watch Lawler-Condit (aka the best fight in MMA history).

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WARNING THIS S**T IS GRAPHIC AND GROSS AF

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Conor backstage.

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Conor on all the outlets.

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LISTEN UP

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Cheap Seats

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Brit Pack

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TWEETS

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Didn't realize people actually thought Conor should've had a point taken away until today. Marks gonna mark I guess.

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Conor would thrash him in MMA so props to Khan for at least talking like he'd be willing to step in the cage for real.

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They did not ask this.

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I think he meant to say, "hits vape pen."

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He's real good.

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For real. This thing is gorgeous.

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Really wish Conor would quit talking about the weight thing.

Great fight, much respect. I'll take a heavyweight next.

A photo posted by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on 

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Good to see Ronda still got that chip on her shoulder.

#FTA

A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on 

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Kazuki Tokudome (16-6-1) vs. Takasuke Kume (18-4-4); Pancrase 280, September 11.

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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

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2014: On this day in 2014, the UFC held 2 events: UFC Fight Night 48 and UFC Fight Night 49. UFC Fight Night 48 was headlined by Michael Bisping stopping Cung Le with punches in the 4th round and also featured Tyron Woodley knocking out Dong Hyun Kim in the fight that started his current title run. UFC Fight Night 49 was headlined by Rafael dos Anjosknocking out Benson Henderson and also featured the final win of Jordan Mein's MMA career when he stopped Mike Pylevia TKO in the first round.

2015: Max Holloway defeated Charles Oliveira when Oliveira ruptured his esophagus during the main event of UFC Fight Night 74. This night also saw Neil Magny return to the octagon 22 days after losing to Demian Maia, where he won a split decision over Erick Silva.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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Honestly, I don't really feel like Conor "deserves" a title shot after scraping by Nate but if they give it to him that fight would be fun as all get out. And I'd pick Conor to win and become a UFC immortal. But really I want Conor to defend against Jose a second time and then rematch Max Holloway. And by then Mirsad Bektic might be recovered and in the title hunt. All of this is moot though because I don't think Conor ever goes to 145 again. He doesn't need to and his biggest fights aren't really there. What do y'all think? If we don't get the Nate trilogy next, who do you want Conor to fight?

That's all for today folks. Hope you have a great one and see you tomorrow.

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If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.