Well folks, the UFC's debut New York card, UFC 205, has received its main event. Late last night/early this morning, the UFC and Dana White announced that Eddie Alvarez would be defending his Lightweight belt at MSG November 12th, but not against Khabib Nurmagomedov like previously rumored last week, it will be against the Notorious, Conor McGregor.
Now I have made my stance on Conor's next fight very very clear, and I said there should be no way he is allowed to fight anyone other than Jose Aldo for the Featherweight belt, and if he did not fight Jose next, the belt should be vacated and Jose and Max Holloway was a necessity. Well, Dana White has gone against his word and all his warnings to Conor, and will allow Conor to hold onto the 145-pound belt, and pursue the 155-pound belt, in the hopes of becoming the first fighter in UFC history to hold 2 championship belts at the same time (BJ Penn and Randy Couture both have held belts in two separate weight classes, but never simultaneously). For the sake of history and further increasing Conor's stock, which directly increases the UFC's stock, I can get behind this fight and what it means for the sport and for Conor himself.
However, this fight will be no cake walk, and in all honesty, I do not see Conor leaving the octagon with his hand raised on November 12th. Alvarez is a world class wrestler, with tremendous stand-up skill. While I think in a strictly stand-up fight, this matchup would favor Conor, it is in no way a dominant matchup for him. Adding Eddie's wrestling into the mix of things, Conor will be faced with most likely his most difficult matchup ever. While Nate posed a much bigger threat to finishing Conor from the ground with his jiu-jitsu, Alvarez is a threat far greater, as he can and will wear Conor down, land strikes on the ground and standing up. Eddie will look to expose Conor the way Chad Mendes did, but with the hopes of keeping Conor on his back and finishing him by TKO or even a possible submission.
BUT, this in no way means I feel Conor can't and won't win this fight. Conor has proved to each and every one of us that he has the heart of a champion, his chin can hold up to some serious damage, and his takedown defense along with his ground-game is at the constant center of attention for him and his team, and I expect it to be at its peak come UFC 205. Conor is chasing history, almost 10 months after he was already supposed to attempt this feat, back against Rafael Dos Anjos, and I am personally rooting for him to obtain the second belt with every part of my being, but for all those who don't know the skill level of Eddie Alvarez, I suggest you watch some tape, and keep those uneducated opinions of just how good or how bad Conor is, win or lose.
PS - UFC 205 is shaping up to be quite possibly the greatest card in UFC history. Weidman & Romero have been made official, and the card now features 3 title fights, and a plethora of contender fights & great match-ups.