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11th May 2017

Conor McGregor’s savage beatdown certainly had a lasting effect on Eddie Alvarez

"I was in bad shape"

Ben Kiely

Eddie Alvarez is well equipped to handle the inevitable onslaught of questions regarding that devastating night he lost his UFC belt.

After months of vowing to embarrass Conor McGregor and prove to the world that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, Alvarez was forced to choke on his own words at UFC 205.

When he finally came to after being steamrolled by that magic sleigh, he woke up in a living nightmare where Jolly Old Saint Mac fulfilled his prediction. Strewn across one arm was the little boy belt, while the shiny new big boy lightweight title rested on the other.

There has been an endless amount of analysis trying to decipher exactly what happened to the Underground King in Madison Square Garden. Analysts have put his performance, or lack thereof, down to anything and everything – from the occasion getting the better of him to McGregor’s mental warfare affecting his mindset.

Alvarez believes those folks are reading too much into it though. As he explained at the UFC 211 media day, what happened was quite simple – he got rocked early.

“I think I got hit with a punch. The media likes to make things a little more difficult than what they are. Fighting’s unique. You can prepare a million times, you can know everything that you’re going to do, (but) you get hit with a shot, get stupid for a little bit and make some bad decisions, things go bad quickly and that’s what happened November 5.”

Understandably, being beaten so definitively on such a massive stage left Alvarez in ‘bad shape’ for a while. However, he has dealt with that issue and and he’s utilising that pain to bring the dog out of him yet again in a comeback bout against Dustin Poirier at UFC 211.

“I feel the worst when I disappoint, more when I disappoint myself – not you guys, not my fans, but I put my heart and soul into it. When I go out there and it doesn’t manifest the way I’m prepared for, I’m heartbroken. I use that energy, I use that disappointment to fuel me in this next upcoming bout.”

“I learned a ton. I think, and I’ve said it already, having your worst nightmare come true… it’s liberating, there’s a freedom in it. I feel free, I feel like now I can step inside this cage and I don’t know if I can feel any worse than what I’ve felt. I feel like I can just be myself now.”