Former Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler opponent makes prediction for UFC clash

Eddie Alvarez has called the upcoming fight between his former opponents Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler ‘a mismatch’.

Alvarez lost the UFC lightweight title to McGregor via knockout in 2016, after a stint in Bellator in which the American traded wins with compatriot Chandler.

Alvarez was submitted by Chandler in 2011 before beating his rival on points in 2013. The first result saw “Iron Mike” take the Bellator lightweight title from Alvarez, who regained the belt in their rematch.

When asked for a prediction on how McGregor vs Chandler – which is still without a date and location – will play out, Alvarez said on The MMA Hour: “If I had to guess, Mike Chandler doesn’t wrestle. If he stands with Conor, Conor’s going to knock him out. It’s a mismatch.

“Mike Chandler’s defence sucks. He doesn’t have good defence, 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. If he doesn’t, it’s going to be a bad night.”

Chandler, 36, and McGregor, 34, are both 1-3 across their last four fights. The pair are serving as opposing coaches on reality television show The Ultimate Fighter, before they square off in the Octagon later this year.

Alvarez also opened up on how his planned trilogy bout with Chandler failed to come to fruition while the pair were both in Bellator.

“Mike Chandler ain’t s***,” Alvarez said. “ I know fans wanted me vs Mike Chandler 3. Just so you all know, I want to put it out in the clear: I tried to make that 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.”

Michael Chandler on the set of 'The Ultimate Fighter’ (@UFC via Instagram)
Michael Chandler on the set of 'The Ultimate Fighter’ (@UFC via Instagram)

Alvarez also suggested that the fight could have been made after he left the UFC in 2018, when Chandler looked to be heading for free agency.

“There was a point in my free agency where Chandler was becoming a free agent as well,” Alvarez said. “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.”

Alvarez left the UFC for ONE Championship in 2018, but he left the promotion last September and is next scheduled to fight ex-UFC featherweight Chad Mendes in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

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