Conor McGregor has been backed by Eddie Alvarez to get the better of Justin Gaethje. A showdown with the newly-crowned interim UFC lightweight champion is top of McGregor’s wish-list for the second outing of his 2020 “season.”
Gaethje’s crosshairs, however, are firmly set on a lightweight title unification with undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov’s fighting future is currently up in the air due to his father’s ongoing health problems.
The UFC brass is hoping to have Nuragomedov vs Gaethje to take place in September, although that plan could soon change depending on his father’s health.
Should Nurmagomedov be unable to compete in the UFC’s timeframe, that could pave the way for a Gaethje vs McGregor match-up.
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I think a knockout [for McGregor]
Eddie Alvarez’s prediction for Conor McGregor vs Justin Gaethje
And should the bout come to fruition, Alvarez – who has shared the Octagon with both men – reckons McGregor will get the better of Gaethje in devastating fashion.
“I think a knockout [for McGregor],” Alvarez told The Score MMA when asked to predict a matchup between the pair.
“I was able to catch him [Gaethje] quite a bit with punches.
“And you watch that Dustin [Poirier] was able to box him a little bit.”
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Alvarez’s prediction is based on Gaethje’s decision not to use his offensive wrestling since joining the UFC in 2017.
He added: “The thing with Justin is, if I thought he would implement a ground game, and he was gonna go in there and take Conor down and put him against the cage and do that, kind of do what Khabib did [against McGregor], do what I intended to do, if he was gonna implement that game, I would say Justin’s gonna do really well against him.”
“But just standing for standing, like a stand-up fight, which is what I feel like it’ll end up being, I feel like there’s just too many mistakes that Justin would make, and Conor would be able to kinda capitalise.”
A bout with McGregor would bring fan favourite Gaethje the biggest payday of his mixed martial arts career.
‘The Highlight’ is well aware of the financial reward that comes with facing the UFC’s poster boy but is dead set on locking horns with and defeating Nurmagomedov.
“If I want to fight Conor, I can fight Conor,” the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion told ESPN. “Believe me. Why wouldn’t Dana [White] put that together? But that’s not the fight I want.
“His only ploy is he’s Mr. Red Panty Night. Not everyone is a greedy motherf***er like him.”
McGregor, 31, returned from a 15-month layoff in January in the main event of UFC 246, where he decimated Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds to claim his first victory in over three years.
‘The Notorious’ is hoping to return to his active ways in 2020, setting his sights on two more outings this year.
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