ROUNDTABLE (pt. 2 of 2): Predict how Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor will play out at UFC 205

Predict how Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor will play out on Saturday night at UFC 205…

ADAM TINDAL, MMATorch contributor

I’m a big believer in rest and recovery, especially in a sport like this where much damage can be sustained during a contest. Skill-wise, I think Conor is ahead of Eddie Alvarez. However, if we look back at Conor’s last two fights with Nate, he was clearly taken to a place he’s not often visited. This fight is coming just a short two-and-a-half months later. While Eddie, on the other hand, barely broke a sweat in the biggest win of his life back in July. He will be fresh and soaring high on the wings of confidence. I trust Conor and his team, though, and I will rest assured that he knows good and well what’s at stake and will come in nothing short of fully prepared. Expect him to take what will likely be another hard fought victory.

MICHAEL HISCOE, MMATorch contributor

Conor McGregor is similar to Anthony Pettis in that he is a dynamic and difficult-to-predict striker. With that in mind, Eddie Alvarez had no problem with Pettis. He took him down with little effort and was able to smother Pettis to neutralize his striking. Alvarez also hits hard, which can’t be discounted. Alvarez simply has more paths to victory than McGregor. I’m calling for a late submission by Alvarez when McGregor starts to fade in the championship rounds.

FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch contributor

I think it’ll be a tough and tense 25 minute grind. Both guys are fully capable of delivering a finish, but they’re both too tough to expect a finish. I’ll be on the edge of my seat for the entire fight. I think McGregor will have more success in the early rounds, then Alvarez stages a comeback and takes the later rounds. Then I think we go into the fifth round tied, with both guys busted up and bloody and ready for gut-check time. I think we see a fifth round for the ages, where both guys put it all out there and stand in front of each other and trade until one of them blinks. I don’t think we get a finish. I think McGregor wins a razor thin decision in a Fight of the Year candidate.

MICHAEL GROCKE, MMATorch contributor

I expect Conor McGregor to come out with his left hand cocked and loaded, hoping to land big shots in an effort to get Eddie Alvarez out of there as quickly as possible. It won’t be easy, though, considering Alvarez has only been knocked out once. It’s no secret McGregor tires as the rounds go by, so as long as Alvarez doesn’t get caught with a big left and he can weather the early storm, I think he’ll be in a good position come the latter rounds.

Eddie Alvarez is a well-rounded fighter. He’s clearly the much better wrestler. While his footwork isn’t as polished as McGregor’s, it’s vastly improved over recent years. His experience will prepare him for anything Conor throws at him and he’s as mentally tough as anyone. I expect Alavarez to go after takedowns and try to get the fight to the canvass. Conor will want to apply pressure, so Alvarez’s ability to counter and utilize his speed will be a big factor in his chances of winning.

Conor McGregor is the more skilled, more disciplined striker. He’s going to look to set up his left hand early and often. While both fighters hit hard, Eddie has yet to face a foe that hits as hard as McGregor. Conor wants to keep the fight standing so he can utilize his superior boxing skills. If McGregor can’t defend the takedown then I think it will be long night for him. I also think if the fight goes past the third round he might be in trouble.

The current odds are, McGregor -175; Alvarez +145.

I’ll take the underdog by decision.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE ON THIS TOPIC: ROUNDTABLE (pt. 1 of 2): Predict how Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor will play out at UFC 205

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