Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez believes he is one of the only fighters capable of upsetting current 155lb king Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Speaking exclusively to LowKickMMA the ONE Championship fighter Alvarez offered his thoughts on the eagerly anticipated UFC 249 main event between Nurmagomedov and former interim champion Tony Ferguson.

Khabib
UFC

Whilst most see this fight as a pick ‘em ‘The Underground King’ believes Nurmagomedov is the heavy favourite. He expects the Russian to be too strong for Ferguson who in his opinion makes too many mistakes to be successful in this fight.

“I think Khabib will be just too strong for Tony. I don’t think Tony’s a strong guy. I think it was when Kevin Lee fought Tony, he might’ve got his back and he was getting positions on him that were very dominant positions. I just think Tony makes too many mistakes. He makes too many mistakes and gets away with it pretty often. I don’t think he’s going to be able to get away with them facing Khabib. Khabib is too strong and too big for a guy like Tony. You need a smaller, stocky, strong wrestler to be able to compete and against Khabib. I don’t think a long lanky guy who is jujitsu based is the guy. I don’t think Tony is the style to beat Khabib.”

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A small, stocky, strong wrestler sounds kind of like Alvarez. So, we asked him how he sees a fight between himself and Nurmagomedov going down, he said.

“I think my style is difficult for Khabib to deal with. Not my regular style that I go out fighting, where I’m getting in people’s face and try to put on a war. I have the ability to adjust. I can fight multiple styles because I fought for such a long time. I’m probably one of the only guys who is able to implement a style and beat Khabib. I don’t think a lot of guys have the resources and the tools to even implement the right style to beat Khabib. I think I have the right resources and the right tools to do that. And a lot of guys don’t. I don’t think Tony does. I don’t think a lot of guys in the division do.”

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Justin Gaethje
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Gaethje has the wrestling base, strong striking skills and boasts good cardio. To many he is the next big challenge to Nurmagomedov’s reign as champion after UFC 249. Despite being a big fan of his former opponent, Alvarez isn’t convinced ‘The Highlight’ has what it takes to put a dent in the Russians perfect record. When we asked Alvarez if Gaethje could be the guy to dethrone Nurmagomedov he begrudgingly said.

“No. I don’t believe so. I think it would be interesting to watch. Justin Gaethje is my favourite fighter to watch in the UFC. He’s my favourite guy to watch excitement wise. I’m not sure he has the chops on the ground, the technical ground jujitsu years behind him to be able to deal with that. He stays in front of his opponents. He doesn’t create angles and things like that that you would have to do against that style.”

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Khabib Nurmagomedov
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Despite not fancying him to win the fight Alvarez is of the opinion Gaethje should probably be next in line for a shot at the title. The MMA veteran strongly disagrees with someone like Conor McGregor skipping the queue at 155lbs and feels the Irishman should work his way back up the rankings, especially having just suffered a beat down against the Russian.

“I think Conor should have to wait for a rematch because when you get beat the way Khabib beat him you don’t get an automatic rematch. You have to go back of the line and that’s just the way this works.”

Do you think Eddie Alvarez has the right style to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov?

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