UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez currently has his sights set on a blockbuster superfight with featherweight title holder Conor McGregor, and if it does come to pass, he’s convinced that he can derail the Irish superstar’s hype train.
“I feel like if this fight is signed and it happens, I feel like I’m about to tell the whole world that there’s no Santa Claus,” Alvarez said during a new interview with MMAfighting.com’s Ariel Helwani. “And everybody is gonna be disappointed. There’s no Santa Claus. He don’t exist. It was a lie and I’m gonna steal the magic from everyone. The magic is gone. And I can’t wait. It’s gonna be a great time for me.”
Alvarez opinion that he can run through McGregor was strengthened by what he believes was a less than impressive display by ‘The Notorious’ in his rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 last month.
“I was impressed by like about seven minutes of it,” Alvarez said. “About the first seven minutes and then it all looked really sloppy and didn’t look of championship caliber to me. It didn’t look like a guy who spent $300,000 on a training camp. I could have did that sh*t for $5, what just went on there. I think he could have spent a lot less and got a lot more.”
All that being said, Alvarez isn’t convinced that McGregor will want to face him.
“This game is changing. I’m watching it change. The game of MMA is changing. Because the business is coming before the sport now, the perception is becoming more important than what really is. This is why I said I don’t think they’ll take the fight. If the perception is the most important, then you don’t try to beat the best guy in the world. You don’t go after me. You go after the guy who looks like the best guy in the world, but really isn’t.”
That’s an interesting way of looking at it, though it’s worth noting that McGregor did sign up to fight former 155lb champ Rafael dos Anjos after defeating Jose Aldo for the featherweight title last year, and only faced Diaz after RDA pulled out injured.
Since then Alvarez impressed with a big win over Dos Anjos himself to claim the title, but prior to that he only just managed to edge out both Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis via split decision.
So, a fight with McGregor would likely be more closely matched than Alvarez would have us believe, but the fact that the lightweight champion is not afraid to speak his mind is good for business and could help convince the UFC that this is the fight to make for November’s UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden in New York City