Eddie Alvarez was decimated and dominated by Conor McGregor at UFC 205 last night, losing his UFC Lighweight Title in his first title defense. He said afterward that he didn’t follow his gameplan, and he didn’t seem to indicate he has any illusions about where he stands now in the Lightweight Division. A loss like that doesn’t merit consideration for a rematch anytime soon.
He said he strayed from his gameplan and is disappointed in himself. “I didn’t fight a good fight,” he said on FS1’s UFC 205 Post-Fight Show. “I think I went in with a plan and didn’t stick to the plan and I think I paid for it.” He said he meant to focus on kicking and wrestling, but instead he tried to stand and trade punches. “I kind of got lulled into it and paid for it,” he said. “He was relaxed and I thought if it was going to be relaxed, okay, I’m not in a hurry. He did a good job. Hats off to him… I just boxed tonight. Too much boxing.”
When asked if perhaps Alvarez didn’t look like his normal self, Dana White said McGregor makes people look like they’re not their normal selves. “I mean, this kid is so talented,” he said.
What’s next for McGregor? White doesn’t know and doesn’t want to talk about it yet. “He is a special individual,” he said. “I’m going to let him enjoy his evening and take it all in and I’ll talk business with him later.”
Alvarez talked about what he remembered about being knocked down the first time. “The shot he hit me with, I think I threw a shot when he came over the top,” he said. “I don’t even remember. I just remember being on the floor, I was, ‘Wow, that was quick, whatever it was.’ I don’t feel it hurt me crazy. It was a flash, I’ve been there before. So I was okay with it.”
Alvarez said he’s not sure what’s next. “It’s too early to tell,” he said. “I’m going to go home and see my wife and kids. I’ve been busy this year for my own career.” He does plan to rewatch the right and devise a gameplan in case he gets a rematch. “Work on my timing, work on my takedown defense, getting back on my feet,” he said. “He was very strong. I can always get better. We’re going to go back and watch the video with coach and see what we can pull out.”
Alvarez may have lost, but what can never be taken away from him is that he headlined the biggest event in UFC history. The buyrate could top 1.6 million buys. We do know that it drew a sellout crowd of 20,427 and a $17.7 million gate, which is a Madison Square Garden record and a UFC record.
Keller’s Analysis: Alvarez lost in a way that puts him pretty far back in the line of potential future opponents for McGregor. After what’s happened the last two weekends, I think everyone would agree that top two lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are among the top four potential next opponents for McGregor, with either a step down in weight to Jose Aldo or a step up in weight to Tyron Woodley (a third belt, anyone?) also in the mix for who could be next for him. I suppose you can throw in a wildcard potential Superfight opponent such as GSP. Read what MMATorch’s team of writers had to say about what they hope and expect to be next for McGregor in our latest Roundtable. Since McGregor took almost no abuse in this fight, the turnaround time for his next fight could be quick. Alvarez would need to rattle off three or four mega-impressive victories, perhaps including against Ferguson or Nurmagomedov (whomever doesn’t get a shot against McGregor’s Lightweight Title first) before being considered for a rematch against McGregor. I don’t sense that this fight would have been much different if Alvarez used a different gameplan, but it’s interesting that he said he got lulled into a different fight than he intended to fight.