Eddie Alvarez believes Michael Chandler should abandon his usual chaotic style against Conor McGregor.
The pair are expected to fight each other sometime later this year after The Ultimate Fighter 31 finale takes place Aug. 15.
It will be McGregor's first fight since breaking his leg against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. For many, it's a dangerous return fight for the former two-weight champion considering Chandler's knockout power and overall explosiveness.
For others, Chandler's chaotic nature could end up being his downfall and perfect for McGregor's crisp counter-striking.
Alvarez — who fought both men — seems to be in the latter camp as he believes Chandler should stick with wrestling early on to nullify McGregor's striking.
“Mike Chandler is a hell of an athlete,” Alvarez told ESPN (via MMA Junkie). “I just think stylistically, the way he’s been fighting and the strategy he’s been going about fighting isn’t the way to get it done against Conor McGregor. And I would implore him if I was his coach to change his style, to go for single legs, to go for shots, and force Conor to wrestle early.
“You have to force him to wrestle early so he don’t have the powerful tools that he’s able to take advantage of (against) all these other guys – quick feet, good range, great striking. You take that away when you wrestle him early. Wrestle him early enough and tire his shoulders down, tire his legs down, slow him down, and he’s half the striker that he can be when he’s fully energized.”
Unfortunately for Alvarez, he couldn't implement that game plan against McGregor as he lost his lightweight title to the Irishman following a second-round TKO defeat.
That said, that was a McGregor who was hungry and extremely active compared to the one today who has fought just four times since that meeting.
Even though “The Underground King” expects it to be a barn burner of a fight, he's not sure if we'll see the same McGregor that he fought.
“Hell of a fight and a lot of questions would be answered with Conor’s time off,” Alvarez added. “Conor, of course, is not going to be the same Conor that he was back during his Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, myself when he was fighting them, you know. He was quite active.
“He was fighting three and four times a year. So we wouldn’t expect the same exact guy who was excited about winning world titles, but will we see that resurgence of energy, enjoyment and excitement and gratitude toward the game of MMA? And I feel like we will.”