Eddie Alvarez Breaks Down Khabib vs Tony, Believes He’d Beat Khabib
In one of the most eagerly anticipated matchups in UFC history, Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to defend his UFC lightweight title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. While ‘El Cucuy’ is on a twelve fight win streak, Khabib is yet to taste defeat in his professional MMA career. And according to the former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, the Dagestani will again prove too strong for his opponent in the UFC 249 main event.
Speaking to Low Kick MMA, Alvarez said that he believed Ferguson will make mistakes against Khabib and that they will cost him in the 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.”
But while he doesn’t think Ferguson will have the game to beat Khabib, Alvarez believes that he has the right multiple styles, resources and tools in his locker to trouble the UFC lightweight champion.
“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.”
One man in the UFC lightweight division who many think could pose a threat to Khabib is Justin Gaethje, who comes from a wrestling background, is strong on the feet, has great cardio and who has looked sensational in his last three outings to the Octagon. Alvarez however, doesn’t believe that his former opponent would pose a serious threat to the unbeaten champion.
“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.”
After Conor McGregor successfully returned to the Octagon at UFC 246 and beat ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in just 40 seconds, UFC president Dana White stated that the Irishman would face Khabib next. Assuming he gets past Ferguson.
In spite of these comments, Alvarez doesn’t think McGregor has done enough yet to warrant a rematch against Khabib.
“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.”
Although McGregor could wait for the winner of Khabib and Tony, it is thought that he won’t want to wait that long. Interestingly, Gaethje is one of the front runners to fight Conor next. Should that fight go down, the winner would almost guarantee themselves a shot at the title next.
Alvarez now competes in ONE Championship and is coming off a first round submission win over Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang at ONE: Dawn Of Heroes. The 36 year old is scheduled to face Saygid ‘Dagi’ Arslaniev at ONE: Infinity 2, on May 29th in Manila. The two lightweights were previously set to meet in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix final at ONE: Century, but ‘The Underground King’ had to withdraw with an injury.
Who do you think stands a better chance of beating Khabib Nurmagomdov? Eddie Alvarez, Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje or Conor McGregor in a rematch?