Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez recently shared his insights on the highly anticipated bout between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler.
McGregor and Chandler just wrapped up recording for TUF reality series in Las Vegas.. The two are going to compete soon, but Dana White and the UFC haven’t decided on the time or location for the match.
Alvarez has competed against both McGregor and Chandler during his career in the UFC and Bellator. He believes that McGregor’s boxing skills and tricky style will give him the edge over Chandler.
Speaking to Helen Yee ahead of his Bare Knuckle Boxing Championship bout against Chad Mendes, Alvarez emphasized that Chandler needs to utilize his wrestling skills against McGregor.
Alvarez pointed out that Chandler has the ability to take opponents down and wear them out with his wrestling. However, Chandler does not implement his skills to their fullest potential. This leads to Chandler losing matches that he could he have won if he used his complete skill set.
Alvarez told Helen Yee: “If I felt Mike was going to go back to his wrestling roots and take Conor down and wear him out – Mike kind of has the ability to do that – to a lot of guys, he could have done it to [Justin] Gaethje. He could have done it to a lot of his opponents, and he opted to stand in the ring and bang.”
“He’s winning fans over – that’s great – but he’s not winning as many fights as he can be with the skillset he has. I think he thinks that he can knock Conor out, and I think he’s going to stand and do what he has been doing, rather than take Conor down.”
Alvarez further explained that Chandler’s striking game is basic compared to McGregor’s versatile and experienced boxing and timing.
He added: “That being said, I think Conor has a huge – there’s a real disadvantage to Mike by trying to going into a striking match with Conor McGregor – I think there’s s huge speed advantage on Conor’s part, experience advantage on the boxing, and the angles, and the timing. Conor is tricky; and Mike is not very tricky.”
“His [Michael Chandler] game as far as striking – It is very simple, especially when Conor’s people will look at it.”
According to Alvarez, Chandler’s failure to implement the right game plan may result in his defeat. He continued: “So, the fact I think Mike isn’t going to implement the right game plan, I think he’s going to lose the striking battle with Conor.”