Eddie Alvarez is the new UFC lightweight champion. It took just 3:49 for Alvarez to knock out Rafael dos Anjos on Thursday night to improve his UFC record to 3-1 and claim that big gold belt. Now, Alvarez wants to fight an “easier” fight in the form of…Conor McGregor?
After the championship victory, Alvarez took part in the typical post-fight press conference at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 32-year-old talked about his career to this point and what he wants in the future.
“Everybody was always asking, ‘When are you going to go to the UFC?’ and telling me what I should do and when I should do it. I just think, if you work hard enough and love something, these belts are a byproduct of it,” Alvarez said. “This guy (dos Anjos) to the right of me, is the best in the division. To be able to come out with a win over him and before him was (Anthony) Pettis, before him was Gilbert (Melendez). These are the best guys in the division. I’m not taking on top 15 guys. I would ask Dana White please to give me an easier fight like Conor McGregor. I deserve that. I’ve been fighting the best guys. I would like a gimme fight. So, Conor? I more than welcome that.”
Reporters continuously asked Alvarez about the possibility of fighting McGregor. At the recent UFC 196, McGregor was slated to fight dos Anjos, but dos Anjos had to pull out due to injury, resulting in Nate Diaz replacing dos Anjos and shockingly upsetting McGregor. That’s partially why Alvarez thinks he deserves to fight McGregor.
But McGregor already has his next opponent set, and will rematch Diaz in the main event of UFC 202 on August 20th in Las Vegas. So for now, Alvarez may not be on McGregor’s radar as he prepares for Diaz.
“Look, there’s a lot of guys in the UFC who are good at one thing, and they get matched up stylistically well,” Alvarez said. “They make their way to the top without ever going against the true best guys in the division. They sneak their way around them, and they live off perception, not what really is. [McGregor] is one of them. I think he can get found out. If he was ever to fight Rafael Dos Anjos or to fight myself, he’d get found out very quickly.”
It may be awhile until Alvarez can get what he wants and the opportunity to fight McGregor, but if Diaz beats him for a second time, the possibility of McGregor even being worthy of a title shot will be a legitimate question.