Eddie Alvarez: Michael Chandler needs to wrestle Conor McGregor, current style ‘isn’t the way to get it done’


The contest winner for Conor McGregor was Michael Chandler.

The Ultimate Fighter 31 (TUF), which will feature eight Lightweights and eight Bantamweights competing for a spot on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster, is scheduled to air on the ESPN network the following week (Tuesday, May 30, 2023). Chandler and McGregor face off against each other as coaches before their upcoming Octagon fight.

The fight features several well-known athletes, making the combat sports world go wild. Eddie Alvarez, an old opponent of each, advises Chandler to fight a little more shrewdly than in his previous five UFC fights.

Alvarez told ESPN that Mike Chandler “is a hell of an athlete” (h/t MMA Junkie). “I just think stylistically, the way he’s been fighting and the strategy he’s been going about fighting isn’t the way to get it done against Conor McGregor. I would implore him if I was his coach to change his style, to go for single legs, to go for shots, and force Conor to wrestle early.

“You have to force him to wrestle early so he don’t have the powerful tools that he’s able to take advantage of [against] all these other guys — quick feet, good range, great striking,” he continued. “You take that away when you wrestle him early. Wrestle him early enough and tire his shoulders down, tire his legs down, slow him down, and he’s half the striker that he can be when he’s fully energized.”

In 2011 and 2013, when they were both competing for Bellator, Chandler and Alvarez engaged in two epic battles. The first meeting between the two is generally regarded as the better contest and served as Chandler’s real upset debut. In just his ninth bout, Chandler finished a triumphant run through the Bellator Lightweight tournament by submitting Alvarez with a rear-naked choke submission in the fourth round. Alvarez’s first defeat in a promotion came before he eventually earned a victory by split decision and moved on to the UFC.

At his peak in the UFC, Alvarez won the title and finally lost it to a prime McGregor by technical knockout in the second round (punches) in the organization’s debut event in New York at the illustrious Madison Square Garden. The battle is much the more exciting because “The Notorious” hasn’t fought since injuring his leg in a trilogy defeat to Dustin Poirier in July 2021.

“Hell of a fight and a lot of questions would be answered with Conor’s time off,” Alvarez said. “Conor, of course, is not going to be the same Conor that he was back during his Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, myself when he was fighting them, you know. He was quite active.

“He was fighting three and four times a year,” he added. “So we wouldn’t expect the same exact guy who was excited about winning world titles, but will we see that resurgence of energy, enjoyment and excitement and gratitude toward the game of MMA? And I feel like we will.”

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