Conor McGregor’s initial path to becoming a simultaneous two-weight UFC world champion was a fight against Rafael dos Anjos. Those plans, however, were broken, when dos Anjos was forced out of their UFC 196 fight due to a foot injury.
Now, “The Notorious” will be facing reigning champion Eddie Alvarez this weekend at UFC 205 in New York City, where he will carry on with his current career goal. And for his coach John Kavanagh, fighting Alvarez is actually the easier option to achieving their objective.
“I think Alvarez is a little bit more straightforward. Dos Anjos obviously has a world-class submission game on the ground,” Kavanagh told MMAJunkie. “Alvarez is more basic on the ground. He’s just going to hold you there and throw some shots, whereas dos Anjos has very slick jiu-jitsu.”
“In other respects, they’re both quite similar in that they’re both physically similar, and similar style. A couple punches, then try to get a takedown. But I think Eddie is slightly the easier fight because he’s orthodox and doesn’t have quite the submission game as dos Anjos.
McGregor had previously predicted a first round stoppage against Alvarez. Kavanagh, however, believes it could reach the second round, where he foresees it will end.
“Conor has range, he can hold him on the outside and then if Eddie does close the distance, yes, he’s probably going to have a small weight advantage, but not the same weight advantage as Nate did,” Kavanagh said. “But this is going to be a range war, and Eddie’s losing that one.
“I can see a similar fight to (Chad) Mendes. I think Eddie will use up a lot of energy in Round 1 trying to pin Conor to the fence. I think late in Round 2, the left hand will land and that will be all she wrote.”