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Eddie Alvarez discusses BKFC 41 ‘moment’ with Conor McGregor, thinks McGregor would ‘do really well’ in bare-knuckle

Eddie Alvarez was glad to share a moment with Conor McGregor this past weekend.

On Saturday, Alvarez made his bare-knuckle boxing debut, winning a hard-fought split decision over Chad Mendes in the co-main event of BKFC 41. The event was so hotly anticipated that McGregor showed up to ringside to watch the fights, and was having such a good time that he even offered Alvarez a bit of advice during the battle — advice Alvarez acted upon and then gave McGregor props for, resulting in a viral clip from the event.

Speaking with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour on Monday, Alvarez recounted what happened on Saturday and said that it was exactly what it looked like.

“That’s something common,” Alvarez said. “I guess I was just in my — you’re in the zone, right? When you’re in the zone, you’re starting to feel yourself. That’s the moment I look for in every fight, is to be in the zone — I’m feeling myself, nothing else exists, and I’m just doing my thing. I do that with coach Mark Henry a lot, because coach Mark Henry yells codes. Most of the time when you see me or any of my teammates in there, we’re just doing what Mark Henry is telling us to do. He’s yelling the codes, we do them. And oftentimes when I’m in sparring, Mark Henry will yell a code, it will land clean, and as soon as it lands clean, I’ll point to Mark and say, ‘Good call, great call.’ That wasn’t me, that was you, and I’m giving you the credit for what just happened.

“Well, Conor yelled it. He was yelling for uppercut, and I was kind of recognizing that Chad was hitching, he was doing a little hitch before he came under, and Conor picked it up and then he was mentioning it as soon as he was against the [ropes]. As soon as he yelled uppercut, I was like, ‘I see it,’ and then I landed it and I was like, ‘Good call.’ It was a good moment. He recognized it, I recognized it, and I think that was that.”

McGregor obviously has a history with both Alvarez and Mendes, knocking out Mendes at UFC 189 to claim the interim UFC featherweight title, and stopping Alvarez at UFC 205 to claim the lightweight title in the signature victory of his combat sports career.

And while it was a clip of McGregor yelling help to him that went viral, Alvarez says “Notorious” was an equal opportunity coach on Saturday.

“Someone said he was yelling s*** for Chad too,” Alvarez said. “I don’t think he had a horse in the race, I think he just wanted to see a good fight and he was just recognizing some things that were going wrong and he was trying to coach guys.

“For him, he’s a winner already. He beat both of us. He shows up with his f****** whisky, rich and doing nice s***, and good, I wish the best for everyone in this sport. It’s a very difficult life, it’s very difficult to make money, and when he’s done what he’s done for himself and for the sport and for his family, I’m all for it. I have no animosity to any of my opponents. We’re all in this crazy, uncertain life journey. It’s difficult, and if you can do what he did, I’m all for you.”

Though he has no ill will towards McGregor, Alvarez said he was unable to speak with his former foe at the event. Instead, McGregor stayed to watch the main event, even jumping into the ring after the main event for a friendly faceoff with Mike Perry. After the event, McGregor even hinted at one day making the jump from MMA to bare-knuckle, and Alvarez believes the same skills that served him well in MMA would make McGregor successful in this sport as well.

“I think Conor’s boxing is phenomenal,” Alvarez said. “He’s really rangy, like awkwardly rangy. He’s shorter. He’s not tall, but his knuckles drag. He has really long reach for his size. I think he’d do well. I think he’d do really well. And his team behind him, Owen Roddy and his boxing crew, they’re intelligent, they’re smart. They pick up stuff that — I think they’d do really well.

“The clinch is a little different. It’s f****** junkyard dog s***, so the cleaner boxer doesn’t always win in this sport. I’ve seen championship boxers get out-dogged and beat up in the clinch, and get knocked out or knocked down, so it’s not always the cleaner, better boxer that prevails, but I think he’d do just fine.”

McGregor is still currently under contract with the UFC and expected to make his return to the cage against Michael Chandler sometime later this year. But when McGregor’s contract ends, if the Irishman is looking to put his money where his mouth is, Alvarez wouldn’t say no to an opportunity to avenge the worst loss of his career.

“I’d f****** love it,” Alvarez said. “Bring it. Every day, all day.”

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