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Fighting Words For UFC 205: Eddie Alvarez vs Conor McGregor

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UFC 205 coverage is sponsored by MetroPCS

Fighting Words pits two of our Cage Potato writers against each other in a heated debate on big fight predictions.

Jonathan Salmon: It’s been a long time coming, but the UFC is finally in NYC. The biggest promotion in mixed martial arts is coming to Madison Square Garden and they’re bringing their biggest star in tow, the brash Conor McGregor. He’s set to face off against newly minted lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in a battle that could be one of the best we’ve ever seen. As it stands, I’m thinking the Irishman gets the job done, but Lionel, you seem to have your own opinions on the match. Sounds like you’re ready to back the Philly kid in this one.

Lionel Harris-Spence:¬†Philly all day! While this really is a pick’em fight, I’ve got a funny feeling Eddie Alvarez might be able to pull this one out. While Conor is definitely the more clean and pinpoint striker, I can’t help the feeling that if Eddie can just weather the storm he’ll end up grinding him out in victory. What do you think?

JS: Well while I think Eddie can certainly grind out a win here, Conor usually does extremely well with fighters of a similar height and build like Alvarez. Conor is the taller man with the longer reach and won’t have to work too hard to find Eddie’s chin. Couple that with some good body work and Conor has a great chance at picking up a victory here.

One thing I do want to touch on though is the cardio issue. Everyone is saying that Conor doesn’t have the cardio to go five hard rounds based on his performances against Nate Diaz. I think the fact that Conor was fighting a bigger opponent meant he was launching himself into a great deal of his strikes which means he was burning himself out. Diaz was also defensively slick causing Conor’s blows to either glance off of Diaz’s head or fall short completely. All of that is tiring. Couple that in with the fact that he didn’t have to do much road work to get his body weight down and you have a recipe for potentially suspect cardio. Because Alvarez is so easily hit, McGregor may not face the same cardio issues he had against Diaz.

 

LHS: Those are very good points but you have to remember that Eddie smothers you a lot more than Nate Diaz will. If Eddie gets Conor against the cage or on the ground then those cardio issues may start to show. Besides that you have to remember that Eddie hits hard. When he does clip Conor (which he will as Conor is hittable) or when he ground and pounds him, it won’t be like Chad Mendes, it will be worse.

You also have to remember that he just came off of fighting at 170 lbs. While 155 will definitely be a much more natural weight class for him, his body has been yo-yoing in weight and that could be a factor.

JS: Conor’s walk around weight is around 170 anyhow so it’s not like he packed on a tremendous amount of muscle anyhow. I see Conor playing things smart and fighting very long in this fight. The low line side kick to the knee, front snap kicks to the body, and long range punching will have Eddie reaching. Where Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez fell pray to Alvarez by either being too passive or overly aggressive, I see Conor using a more balanced game in this bout. One well placed left to the chin and we’ll likely see a new champion.

-The Pick: It won’t be easy, but expect Conor McGregor to shock Eddie Alvarez with his movement and power for a TKO victory in the second round.

LHS: Measured is fine but its harder in real life than theory. Alvarez is a gritty wrestler who’s tough as nails and use to fighting at the 155lb weight class. He seems look better and better since training back in philly, and with Mark Henry at the head, you’re going to see the best Eddie Alvarez yet.

-The pick: Eddie Alvarez by TKO: RD 3

What do you guys think? Who takes the lightweight title?

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