Coach: Alvarez Had To Bring A Hell Of A Lot More

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Conor McGregor made history this past weekend (Nov. 12, 2016) at UFC 205 when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in the second round of their main event bout to become the first fighter in promotional history to simultaneously hold two titles at one time. The “Notorious” one was dominant, but that’s not because Alvarez took him lightly, at least according to McGregor’s longtime head coach John Kavanagh:

“I think it’s more talk,” he said on “The MMA Hour” earlier this afternoon. “I think there is no doubt these guys did whatever they could in training — they absolutely killed themselves. You see Eddie with a black eye eight days out, that’s sparring hard, so the work was put in. I just think it’s a major surprise to them when the first shot lands.”

Despite the work Kavanagh assumes Alvarez put in, he did admit that he simply felt as if the contest was a ‘mismatch’ in terms of the two fighters skill sets:

“To be honest, and I was thinking about how I was going to say this because I know it will be taken out of context, and it’s absolutely no comment on Eddie’s personality as a person — he seems like a great guy, solid fighter. But, if we are just looking at skill sets, going in — and it was a reason I was able to take it all in during the week — but this was a massive mismatch,” declared Kavanagh.

“Again, that’s nothing against him as a person, I’m just saying skills-wise. I really felt this would look worse than the (Marcus) Brimage fight. I knew it’d be that style of fight that he would always be too late, always getting hit and fall apart. I did think his toughness would take him into the second round. But, skills-wise, I just thought it was a massive mismatch. And I will humbly offer the evidence of the fight that it warranted that. All of our people back home, all of our sparring partners we all saw this thinking, ‘This is going to be a bad fight. This is going to look terrible.’”

At the end of the day, Kavanagh simply felt as if McGregor was too comfortable with Alvarez’s style as opposed to the Irishman’s past opponent, Nate Diaz, who offered different challenges:

“Where as Nate (Diaz) was so interesting because style and size wise. It wasn’t a massive size difference, but, it was enough to make it interesting and enough to offer new problems. But, this one, unorthodox, head down kind of brawler with a simple style of wrestling, not very complicated. I just felt like you have to bring a hell of lot more than that to the plate to trouble what I think is the best fighter on the planet right now.”

Do you agree with the head trainer’s assessment of his star pupil’s performance?