Eddie Alvarez: I'm the worst matchup for Khabib


The UFC crowned Khabib Nurmagomedov as its new lightweight champion last weekend, following a dominant showing over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223.

Conor McGregor, arrested last week on assault and criminal mischief charges, still remains the UFC's biggest star. Brett Okamoto looks at what's next for their relationship and how it could set up the most anticipated fight of the year.

As lopsided as the bout was, Alvarez (29-5) said he wasn't impressed with Nurmagomedov (26-0) at all. As a lightweight contender who would love to challenge Nurmagomedov next, Alvarez is probably expected to say that.

But that doesn't mean he's making it up.

"People will say, 'Oh, he's just trying to talk himself into that fight,' but I'm not talking myself into s---," Alvarez told ESPN. "I thought the same thing about Khabib that anyone who knows a thing about fighting did: He didn't look good.

"Defensively, he looked terrible. Of course, he's always dominant on top, and Al is a good fighter -- but even the entrances on his takedowns looked forced. They didn't look clean or set up. After the 10-minute mark, he looked like he'd wore himself out. I saw a ton of vulnerabilities."

Whether Alvarez gets an opportunity to hand Nurmagomedov his first loss is anyone's guess at the moment.

Alvarez is a former champion and has won four of his past five, but he's potentially in competition with Conor McGregorTony Ferguson and even Georges St-Pierre for the next lightweight title shot.

He's also in a unique contractual situation, as there is only one fight left on his current deal. Alvarez, 34, said there has not been much discussion regarding an extension, but he expects that to change within the next month.

"The UFC made me an initial offer to re-sign, and it was a low offer," Alvarez said. "It wasn't what I had in mind. I'm OK with it, though. At some point, we're going to sit down and come to an agreement that maybe we both won't be totally happy with, but it will be an agreement.

"My last fight [against Justin Gaethje] was a proving ground that I'm not going anywhere. I'm only getting better with age. I think the difference with me and other athletes is I've been drug-free my entire career. A lot of guys have done steroids, and they can't compete as they age. I've been natural my whole life."

Nurmagomedov will take the summer off to observe Ramadan, a Muslim month of fasting, and is expected to return in the fall.

With Ferguson currently sidelined with a knee injury, McGregor possibly facing legal repercussions on a criminal felony charge filed last week and St-Pierre a longtime welterweight, Alvarez actually likes his chances to get the 155-pound title shot.

"The only names I see him throwing out there are Conor, Tony and St-Pierre, which is funny, because when I had the belt, Khabib gave me so much s--- for fighting Conor, and now the first thing out of his mouth is that he wants St-Pierre, who isn't even in the weight class -- or Conor," Alvarez said.

"Tony's knee is busted; he's out for 2018 is the way I look at it. Conor also might be out for 2018. Georges has never fought at 155. I'm the only guy standing here. And I happen to be his worst matchup."

I would actually like to see that matchup

I would like to see the fight too.

Eddie would find it hard to win a decision.

I’d watch it 

I'd love to see it. 

he could be right. edgar would be a tough match up too.

The guy who threw the fight with McChicken

Worst? No. But he definitely could be a dangerous match up for Khabib.

I like his process of elimination reason for getting the match.  I haven't earned it but you don't have anyone else. I'm the very last choice, bottom of the barrel, nobody wants to see it but there are no other options. 

He makes a good case. He's talented everywhere and brings it at 100% when he wants. If he can defend himself from Khabib for two rounds he can win. 

PelosiesPanties -

Alvarez is delusional!

This. He was impressive in pride. Not so much now

lol. Last week Khabib was exposed accoring to the UG. This week Eddie is delusional if he thinks he can beat Khabib.. Gotta love it.

Eddie vs Iaquinta would be more competitive 

Awesome. The old man in the pool will beat the bear wrestler.. shut up and take my money so i can watch this fucking fight. 

Just like he was gonna wreck Conor lol (I was hoping he would). Khabib butt fucks Eddie 

Is this the same guy whose striking defense is "I need to block all the punches" like he's playing fucking missile command with his face? He's criticizing Khabibs striking defense? Lol ok.

Eddie’s a living legend and would deserve this, but Dustin was en route to TKOing him and I think Khabib would win even if they just stood for 25 minutes, a deliberate jab is everything.

BrckNoHitBk -

lol. Last week Khabib was exposed accoring to the UG. This week Eddie is delusional if he thinks he can beat Khabib.. Gotta love it.

You know how the UG is. They hate on everything and everyone. I think most people here root for whoever they dislike less. Also if you lose you're overrated. UG Logic. 

People forget Eddie is a legend and is ranked top 5. I'd bet money on him beat Porier the second time around. He's changed his game up again 

Al would knock him out