Coach Kavanagh says McGregor was holding his hands behind his back during his UFC 205 fight with Alvarez due to an injury. He says McGregor’s right index knuckle was hurt during his UFC 202 fight with Nate Diaz, and that was his way of protecting it in training, and also has the added advantage of fooling his opponent into trying to hit his head.
He found that if he actually held his right hand behind his back, it kind of reminded him not to throw it as much. That’s why he started reaching back and actually grabbing his hand. It was almost like a mental note: take care of the right hand…If you put your hands down, an untrained person will try to swing at your head. It’s a base instinct — I want to punch the guy in the head. If you have a very high level of striking, boxing like Conor does, you understand rules like that. I don’t think others are kind of catching up to that level of skill.
Referee McCarthy talks about McGregor’s performance in UFC 205.
Conor McGregor, whether you like him or don’t like him, the man can fight. He is so calm at what he’s doing. He controls the fight. Eddie probably did not fight the right fight for him against someone like Conor. I think he kinda got drawn into the whole thing of ‘I wanna beat you up’. I know what the guy has got. Everyone always wants to sit there and doubt someone [but] Conor McGregor has proved… the guy has got talent and he’s got power. His left hand, he hurts people all the time. They only guy who has stayed up with that left hand – but was multiple times knocked down – was Nate Diaz, and who knocks Nate Diaz out?
John McCarthy on Refereeing McGregor vs Alvarez, Eddie's Mistakes & Conor Being Underestimated
UFC 205 generated 14 Billion social media impressions, which consist of Facebook likes, Twitter interactions and Instagram shares. By comparison the most recent Superbowl achieved 4.3 billion impressions. While the Euro’s in France earlier this year earned 3 billion.
UFC 205 generated 14 Billion social media impressions – Colin and Kristine react | THE HERD
Alvarez talks in detail about his thought process during his UFC 205 bout with McGregor.
What bugs me about the whole thing is that he didn’t do anything that we didn’t prepare for and I have no one to blame but myself about it and that’s what fucks me up about it and gets me angry. It would be easier if I could go back to my coach and say ‘You son of a bitch, you messed up and you didn’t tell me this was going to happen’. We literally got ready for all of this and I guess there’s a difference between knowing and doing. We knew but I simply didn’t execute…The whole plan, the plan of this fight, if we had to sum it up. It was go left and mostly wrestle. Not wrestle all the time but put him in wrestling exchanges and put him where he’s uncomfortable. But I don’t know if it was after I got hit that I went into fight-or-flight mode, but I got hit and I went right and I boxed. I did the opposite of my plan…It was the best time I’d ever had on fight week. Honestly, before we went out even my coach Mark Henry, our warmups in the locker room just before we went out to make the walk were probably the best I’ve ever looked. I was confident. When I try to make sense of this whole damn thing, it’s really awkward to sit back and think about. I don’t understand what went on.
Eddie Alvarez Reflects on Conor McGregor Loss: I Did Everything To Lose This Fight
McGregor’s striking coach releases a behind-the-scenes video of UFC 205, showing McGregor’s pre-fight conversation with Big John McCarthy, the walkout (5:20) and Alvarez approaching McGregor’s corner to congratulate and shake hands with his entire team (7:50). Roddy:
[The fight] was just too easy.
UFC 205 – Mc Gregor v Alvarez – Coach Roddy Fight Night Vlog
Alvarez’s coach says McGregor could beat Mayweather.
You cannot teach somebody how to hit like that. It takes a certain shoulder, it takes a flick of the wrist, it’s all many tiny mechanics, like what it takes to make an eyeball work. It’s the same thing to make the perfect swing. Like Babe Ruth, I just compare Conor to Babe Ruth man, his swing — we watched tape of it — but to be that close to it was a whole other thing. It comes along once in a lifetime, or once every hundred years, and I think God has just blessed him with a swing that, I know I’ll never see again. Before this fight, I would highly doubt him fighting Mayweather, but man I think this dude can figure out Mayweather. I don’t know if it went [long], but I could easily see him knocking anybody man. Like I said, it’s a Babe Ruth swing, there’s so many things you need to make it work. That four punch combination he used to finish off Eddie, he knew where his head was going to be on all four moves, he knows ahead of time where you’re going to be. What he does is just incredible.
UFC releases an interview of Alvarez backstage at UFC 205 after his defeat by McGregor.
It was very loud in there. It was hard for me to hear my corner. I heard a couple of things but it was hard to hear and communicate with my coaches. [More than his power] it was speed…The first time I was dropped. I remember being on my butt and thinking, ‘Wow that was fast’. I’ve been there before. I pretty much get my composure and get back up. The speed and timing were very good. You can tell he’s got years of boxing behind him…It was foolish [to not wrestle]. That was not my intention going into that fight. It was stupid and I paid for it..I’ll never define myself by a win, or by a loss…[Conor’s achievement] is incredible. He did a great job. My hat’s off to him and he continues to do a great job for the sport of MMA. [After this] I’m going to go and see my wife an kids and hang out.
Diaz responds in video to Alvarez comment that “everybody in the lightweight division has beat Nate,” reminding him that Diaz has previously defeated cowboy Cerrone and Conor McGregor, two men who in turn beat Alvarez.
McGregor is interviewed by Olivi, talking about his win at UFC 205 over Alvarez.
I feel good. I said it and I did it. I knew it was going to be tough. He took some shots but kept coming. But you can’t keep taking them shots against me. I’m too precise…I knew I had hurt him and I was thinking ‘How many smacks could he take?’ I know it’s probably a rough one for him and his team…Nothing for respect for him. It doesn’t take me long Megan, one shot and you’re on a losing battle then.
I’m about to be a daddy early next year. I’m freaking out. I don’t know what I’m doing, but we’ll see. I’ve got all the cards now so someone has to come present something really sweet to keep me sweet, because I keep proving what I’m saying. I am the reason the company was sold for $4.2 billion, that’s not the word of a lie….I’ve got 40 big announcements in my mind. I’m about to be a daddy, so that’s a big enough announcement for now.
Alvarez is interviewed by Olivi, talking about his defeat at UFC 205 by McGregor.
[I’m] disappointed. I didn’t fight a good fight. I went in there with a plan. I didn’t stick to the plan and I paid for it. [The plan] was more to kick and wrestle…I almost got lulled into his pace and got out of my own pace. He did a good job, hats off to him.
After the first drop:
The shot he hit me with. I don’t remember it really. I just remember being on the floor…I don’t feel like he hurt me like crazy. Kind of a flash. He just boxed too much. Too much boxing.
Eddie Alvarez interview after losing to Conor McGregor in New York City | UFC 205
Directly after being declared the winner McGregor asks about his belts.
Where the f-ck is my second belt? I’ve already got this one. Where’s the second one at? Cheap motherf-ckers. $4.2 billion this company was sold for. Where’s that second belt. Go backstage and grab that f-cking belt somewhere.
He then talks to Rogan about his win over Alvarez.
They’re not on my level. You’ve got to have size, reach, length. If you come in any way equal to me I’m going to rip your whole head off. Eddie’s a warrior, but he shouldn’t have been in here with me and that’s just the truth of it.
UFC releases the sixth episode of its Embedded series. Alvarez and McGregor continue their war of words after the post-fight press conference. Jedrzejczyk cuts weight and shoots rubber bands at teammate Lawler. All the fighters in the event’s title bouts make weight at the official weigh-in Friday morning, even as McGregor and Alvarez continue to trade barbs. Later that day, as fans pack Madison Square Garden to see the fighters face off on stage. McGregor:
CMG: All you’ve go to do is look at his face. That boy is ugly. He will be unrecognisable by the end of the contest. Just look at Nate Diaz.
EA: I could care less about the way I look after a fight. I will win and the fight won’t end until I win.
CMG: It’s all over Edward.
EA: I took on the best guys in the world. One by one by one. I’ve been top in the world for years. Years. This guy’s just coming on this sport.
CMG: Come on Eddie, you’ve been over in Japan, or some shit. You’ve been fighting bums all your life. You’ve never been on this stage. You’ve never been against a guy like me. You’re an absolute bum. Look at your face! You’re the most beat up guy there is.
UFC releases Episode 5 of UFC 205 Embedded. Woodley visits the New York Giants at work, meeting Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. among others. Alvarez suits up for the UFC 205 press conference at Madison Square Garden, where McGregor arrives late. The video shows more detail of the ‘chair incident’. The action moves to backstage where Jedrzejczyk lambasts opponent Karolina Kowalkiewicz, who responds with a finger. Alvarez:
Alvarez and McGregor are interviewed by Whitlock. On McGregor being late to the conference:
This is a business. It’s important to be on time. It’s the same thing on the night of the fight. What if he goes in the cage and I sit in the back? If I sit in the back, he has no opponent. There’s no reason for him to be inside that cage.
We’re about to do something special in about three days…this is just another day for me, and another opponent…I see a scrawny, skinny Irishman who’s about to get a beatdown…Most of Conor’s talk is self talk. It’s him trying to convince himself that he can do those things.
After Alvarez leaves McGregor comes to the stage in a white fur coat. He takes Alvarez’s belt. Alvarez emerges and takes it back and throws a chair at McGregor. McGregor tries to throw a chair at him, and gets restrained by White.
Here's the segment in full where Conor McGregor was very close to throwing a steel chair at Eddie Alvarez had it not been for Dana White. pic.twitter.com/ip5GbHTw5B
McGregor and Alvarez appear in UFC Embedded – Episode 4. After appearances from strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Alvarez talks up his bout at an ESPN ‘media car wash’:
I’m trying to make myself tired. I can’t.
After a section about Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and his opponent Tyron Woodley, McGregor poses with the belts:
It’s my first event at Madison Square Garden, and my chance at capturing the second world title.
Alvarez, Woodley, McGregor, strawweight title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz and lightweight contender Donald Cerrone all try on some custom Reebok gear. Then Alvarez and McGregor appear at the open workouts.
Despite McGregor saying “fuck Mark Henry” at the UFC 205 press conference in September, Alvarez’s coach compliments the Irishman’s abilities.
Nobodies a fool, Conor’s amazing. In my opinion, he’s got some of the best hands. Take away my guys, maybe the best hands I’ve seen in MMA, and you know, I’m going to be partial to my guys. But he has some of the best hands I’ve ever seen. His preciseness, his power, his speed, knowing where the guy’s going to be, he can adjust his punches. He can slide back, he does those slip lefts, he’s got the beautiful right uppercut, slide off uppercuts to the left. Even his wrestling, I’ve seen him do some great defence against [Dennis] Siver, when he peeled out with his legs. I think Conor’s great all around man, he’s impressive. It’s going to be a great fight.
Eddie Alvarez Ahead of UFC 205: "It’s Gonna Be Violent and We’re Not Going Five!"
In the latest episode of UFC Embedded, McGregor talks to fans, including a policewoman, checks out his luxury ride and takes it on a high-end shopping trip Thompson packs for his trip as opponent Woodley gets out the vote, and Alvarez heads to Connecticut for a day of media at ESPN.
Alvarez and McGregor appear in the the first episode of UFC 205 Embedded. Their respective coaches and sparring partners also appear. Alvarez:
Conor McGregor is so offensive minded and never on the defense that whenever you put him on the defense he gets so flustered and so upset. At a certain point on our press conference cal he got desperate and started talking about my wife and kids and things like that. For me, It’s just a sign of desperation. You don’t talk about another man’s family unless you’re through the roof pissed off.
Just more of the same hard f-cking work. Day in day out.
UFC releases a promo video for UFC 205, called Champion vs Champion, featuring McGregor and Alvarez. Rogan narrates:
Eddie Alvarez is an incredibly dangerous fighter. He is a blood and guts warrior…Eddie’s bigger, he’s as fast, and he’s a better wrestler than Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor is coming off the most important victory of his UFC career. The Nate Diaz fight showed that he can be one of the best 155 pound fighters in the world.
UFC 205: Alvarez vs McGregor – Champion vs Champion
Alvarez and McGregor a appear live on a conference call to talk about UFC 205. Alvarez:
I hate when people say you’re defending your title. I don’t defend shit. My job is to finish the opponent. I’m not defending anything…I’ve fought better opponents, but this card is going to break every single record in UFC history…The guys he’s faced aren’t close to the caliber that I am. He will realize he’s been fighting good style match-ups and he’s fucked.
I’m going to toy with this man. I’m going to really, truly rearrange his facial structure. His wife and kids won’t recognize him again…I know he’s durable, but I don’t believe he’s been hit like anybody by me. I still can’t see him lasting longer than a round.
Alvarez says it will be an honour to defeat McGregor.
As far as shutting his (McGregor) mouth and giving him some humility, it will be an honour. I think he did a good job getting this fight, selling the fight and promoting it. This will break every record in UFC history bar attendance…A lot of people will show up to cheer for him but a lot of people are also going to show up and enjoy watching him be defeated…I wouldn’t [rate McGregor] very highly in the grand scheme of things. Throughout my long career I’ve fought the best in the world and I don’t think he (McGregor) has. I feel like he still has proving to do if he wants to call himself one of the best. He is going to have to get through a guy like me to even be able to scratch at that. I think the fight will end inside of two rounds. Around the nine minute mark I should be able to overcome him. We will put him in some bad situations early and start getting him to doubt himself and when that happens it’s the beginning of the end.
In an interview with The Mac Life, McGregor says he is ready to ‘make history’:
The last camp was very, very different. This camp has been different as well. It’s, what, only 10 days to the fight? It’s very unusual for me to be home this close to a fight, so I’m actually enjoying it. Training’s been great. I’m very prepared, very calm. Ready to go and make history…We all went through a learning process after the first Diaz fight. In the second one we came together like a unit…Everything is a lot more scientific [now]… I’d be told what heart rate I’d have to be at for different sessions. There was many times I wanted to go more. I was like, ‘I don’t feel like I’m doing much’ but no, we had to build it up and up and up.
[The second Diaz fight] was phase one of cardio training, this is phase two. That, coupled with the weight coming down, my body mass… I’m much leaner. I’m very confident that I will put this man away. Eddie seems to think he has a cardio advantage. Let’s go into the later rounds, I’m going to sprint in round 5. I’m very, very happy.
I think we do it under the nine-minute mark. Big, big heavy shots, he goes down and then submission. I can see it ending much like the (Nate) Diaz fight where I land the heavy shot and then I finish with a submission. From what I’ve seen in the past and what he’s done in the past, (his heart) is very questionable and I’m not the only one who’s questioned it…I think he has quit in him and I think it takes a tad of adversity and him to get into a little bit of a fight to pull it out of him. On November 12, I’m going to pull it out of him and I’m going to show it to millions of people and the crowd. Everybody’s going to see it. We’re going to reveal the quit.
McGregor and Alvarez appear in the extended preview for UFC 205. McGregor:
No-one has had the deuce in the UFC, I’m gonna go and get them two belts and take out two divisions. If anyone can do it it’s me. no-one else can do it.
This game is not a game about who says more, it’s about who does more…Conor’s full of shit. Most of the things he says are full of shit. He’s never put himself in harm’s way, and I think just now he has.
I like Eddie Alvarez a lot but if he stays on his feet with Conor, I think Conor is going to get him. Conor is a gamer, dude. I will never cross that dude out. I just won’t. His mindset is second to none. He’s special because of his mind and his belief in his ability. I don’t think there had been another athlete like Conor, where he is that confident. Maybe Ali, that’s one of the only [other] one that I can think of, where he’s able to count the round and [land] one-punch knockouts. He’s special, man. For Conor to be able to take the fight to five rounds [against Nate Diaz]… I give my respect to him. I may disagree with the way he flaunts himself and flaunts money and things like that but he’s an entertainer. He’s the best fighter in the world and he’s the best entertainer in the world as well. The more experienced guy is probably Alvarez but I’ve got Conor, man. I like Eddie a lot. He seems like a really good dude and a good fighter – I’ve watched a lot of his fights – but I’ve got a feeling he may get prideful. I hope he doesn’t.
Henry Cejudo: If Eddie Alvarez stands with Conor McGregor, Conor will get him
I’m the one who made the Conor McGregor fight happen. He never had any intention of fighting me. Every time I said his name I didn’t get any response, I didn’t get anything. This is a guy who responds and talks shit to everyone, but every time I talked to the media and tried to drum up a fight or anything like that there’d be no response. So it was obvious that he really didn’t want this fight. It was only when I won the belt that they decided to get a crack at the belt. When I joined the UFC I fought the best guys in the division back-to-back-to-back, that was my strategy. I told the media I was tired of getting asked about Conor McGregor, so I told them I could use an easier fight and that’s why it happened.
And says he can handle the Irishman’s technique:
To me, he’s just a left hand. He’s just a guy with a left hand. That’s how I see him. He does something that we call a ‘rock back’ well. Mayweather does it. A lot of Philly fighters do it. He (McGregor) lives and breathes off it. A lot of MMA guys don’t know about these boxing things that they do. This is a move that’s very easily taken away and we’re going to dominate every step of the way. Without giving away a gameplan or anything, everything’s taken away with the proper preparation.
Stylistically it’s my fight to win. I won’t say it’s easy, especially against a guy who has the crowd like that on his side, but I’m going to get this job done and I’m going to get it done violently and quickly. Technically, I think Conor’s a good fighter,” Alvarez admitted. “He probably does a lot of drills so technically he’s sound, but for me, fighting after a certain point, technique doesn’t matter in a championship fight. It comes down to will, it comes down to spirit and your willingness to win the fight. I think that’s the main ingredient to what makes a champion and I think that’s what he’s missing…I honestly feel that’s what he’s missing. He’s very technical, he’s a clean good fighter for a round, round and a half, but when you get deeper into a fight we’ve all seen him in moments of adversity and it doesn’t look good to me–it doesn’t look like championship caliber.
It’s my fight to win. I won’t say it’s easy, especially against a guy who has the crowd like that on his side, but I’m going to get this job done and I’m going to get it done violently and quickly. Technically, I think Conor’s a good fighter. He probably does a lot of drills so technically he’s sound, but for me, fighting after a certain point, technique doesn’t matter in a championship fight. It comes down to will, it comes down to spirit and your willingness to win the fight. I think that’s the main ingredient to what makes a champion and I think that’s what he’s missing…He’s very technical, he’s a clean good fighter for a round, round and a half, but when you get deeper into a fight we’ve all seen him in moments of adversity and it doesn’t look good to me – it doesn’t look like championship calibre. It doesn’t look like someone who’s willing to take a beating and get on that stool and come back out and give it back to the guy.
McGregor comments on his upcoming fight with Alvarez.
I don’t think he poses any threat, I don’t believe that. He’s tough, he’s a tough kid…He’s got some good fights under his belt and good experience. So I’m expecting him to come in and fight with his heart. But I don’t see it going well for him. I feel he will be unconscious.