Eddie Alvarez gets his first shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship on Thursday night, facing Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Fight Night 90 in Las Vegas.
Alvarez made an appearance on AXS TV’s Inside MMA on Friday night to discuss the bout, and he locked on to the theme he believes plays in his favor in this matchup.
“I think he’s overly aggressive,” Alvarez said of dos Anjos (transcribed by MMAFighting.com). “That works against guys who have the ability to be bullied and who won’t fight back. I think that’s the wrong approach to go about this fight with. If he does that and decides to go that route, I think he’s gonna bring the dog out in me and this could end up being bad.
“It’s the art of deception. I can’t ever let no one peg me or tell me what I am. It’s important to always be changing, always bringing a different game plan, always surprising your opponents. I’m sure RDA has a vision of how I’m gonna fight him as well, but he has no idea.”
To that end, Alvarez said he’s been doing some extensive work in the striking department during this training camp, and believes he’s fully prepared to do what he needs to do to capture the title.
“We’ve done 150 sparring rounds, live sparring rounds for this fight. I couldn’t have perfected this dance any more than what it’s gonna be. We’re just ready to go in there on Thursday and do it… I don’t believe in over-training. I think someone made that up who didn’t necessarily want to train that day so he came up with a line and said ‘over-train.’ I don’t believe it. I’m in the mind that the more you do something the better you get at it.”
Penick’s Analysis: Spending tons of time on disciplines absolutely helps one perfect them as best they can, but there is absolutely such a thing as over-training. If a fighter works their body too hard and doesn’t give it enough recovery time, it can be detrimental to their performance. You can over-work your body and exert yourself to the point it doesn’t work like you want it to work. 150 live sparring rounds seems brutal, but if he feels it’s what he needs to do and it succeeds, then he did what was right for him. Turning dos Anjos’ aggression against him could be a potentially viable strategy, and really it’s how Alvarez is able to respond to that pressure that will be the story of this fight.
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