Conor McGregor has been backed to knock out Michael Chandler in his comeback fight by UFC legend Eddie Alvarez.
Alvarez, 39, is one of only two men, the other being Dustin Poirier, to have faced McGregor and Chandler at the height of their careers.
And as a man who has shared the cage with both of them before in the past, he is arguably as best suited as anyone to give his expert prediction for the fight.
But while Chandler has been more active in recent years, he doesn’t expect it to go very well for his fellow American.
“If I had to guess, Mike Chandler doesn’t wrestle,” he said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “If he stands with Conor, Conor’s going to knock him out.
“It’s a mismatch. Mike Chandler’s defense sucks. He doesn’t have good defense, boxing.
“He throws bombs, but Conor’s way too fast, way too quick to get hit with anything Mike Chandler is throwing. So I feel like, Mike should wrestle and wrestle quickly, and use that. And if he doesn’t, it’s going to be a bad night.”
Alvarez also revealed that he tried to make a trilogy fight with Chandler happen several times – but to no avail.
“Mike Chandler ain’t s***,” he added. “Just so people know, just so all the fans know right here, right now — I know fans wanted that fight.
“I know wanted fans wanted me vs. Mike Chandler III. Just so you all know, I want to put it out in the clear, I tried to make that fight happen. I tried to make the fight happen. It’s not on me.
“I tried to make that fight happen not once, not twice, but three times, and it’s just not going to happen. That guy does not want to fight me and the fight just never got made. So it’s not on me, just so the people know.”
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And despite having a private chat about it, he insisted that Chandler is the reason for it never happening.
“There was a point in my free agency where Chandler was becoming a free agent as well,” he continued. “I called them directly, him and his management, and said, ‘Let’s make this fight. Don’t re-sign with anyone, become a free agent.’
“It was when I was leaving the UFC and he was about to get out of his Bellator contract. We had a casual conversation, he was excited about it, said, ‘Yeah, that’s a great idea,’ and he went back and re-signed with Bellator. We could have made millions having a third fight.
“We could have walked into three or four different promoter’s offices and did great. He went back and signed for a few hundred thousand bucks for Bellator. Then, again, I’m a free agent again, we have another possibility of making this fight happen, and it doesn’t happen again.
“I did my part. To be honest, I didn’t want to ask for the fight. I don’t know if it was my ego or whatever, but I didn’t want to ask for this fight, because I didn’t want to deal with what I had to deal with to ask for the fight.
“But I sat down and spoke with my wife and she was like, ‘Will you regret knowing you didn’t do everything it took to make the fight?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, I will.’ So I tried to make it happen.”
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