Conor McGregor finally returns to the lightweight division for the first time in just under four years this weekend, when he takes on Eddie Alvarez inside of Madison Square Garden.
His last outing at 155 pounds came back in 2012 when he defeated Ivan Buchinger for the CWFC lightweight championship, and it would be fitting for him to take the UFC’s version of the title on his return.
It seems like it’s said every single time Notorious steps inside of the Octagon, but Alvarez is perhaps his toughest test to date, and will do his best to stop the Irishman from creating history in New York, where he can become the first man to hold two world titles simultaneously.
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However, despite this looking like an incredibly tough situation for McGregor, his camp isn’t too concerned with the task at hand.
His trainer, John Kavanagh, was talking to the42.ie and revealed that Chad Mendes was more of a challenge to train for compared to Alvarez.
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He said: “Not really. We didn’t have a huge training camp for (Chad Mendes), and I feel he is actually a more difficult wrestler to train for.
“For some reason, (Alvarez) is actually listed as being the same height as Conor, but I think he is 5’7” and Conor is 5’10”. There’s not that much of a height difference, so it’s a little easier when there’s someone who is more your eye level.
EASIER THAN MENDES
“In the Mendes fight, Conor actually kinda gave those takedown just so he could pull guard, rather than fight them and possibly injure his knee. That was a strange fight, but this camp there’s no injuries.
“Any takedowns Eddie gets, he’s gonna have to fight tooth and nail for.
"It’s going to be a very exhausting experience, and even if you do take him down, you’re going to be eating big elbows, submission attempts, and he’s going to be talking in your ear.
“His last fight before going into the UFC as at 155 [pounds] and, for me, that was the ideal weight.
"But I guess the fights that had influenced [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby’s decision to reach out were the 145 fights. Sean looks after the 145, and below divisions, so he nabbed him for 145, so we just rolled with it.”
It’s obviously easier said than done, as not every game plan goes accordingly.
Nobody would have thought McGregor would dethrone Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, and Alvarez could spring a surprise or two of his own on the night where we find out if Kavanagh’s comments were all part of the mind games, or whether it was brutal honesty.
What do you make of John Kavanagh’s saying they aren’t concerned about Eddie Alvarez? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.