Since signing with the UFC in 2014, Eddie Alvarez has had a bit of an underwhelming go of things. Alvarez currently sports a 3-2 record in the UFC with one no-contest, and though he did capture the UFC lightweight title last year knocking out Rafael dos Anjos in the first round, he then lost his belt to Conor McGregor in one of the most one-sided beatdowns of the year. Even more concerning than his pedestrian record is the uninspiring performances Alvarez has put forward during his UFC stint. Aside from his KO of dos Anjos, Alvarez has not looked much like the guy that made a name for himself by winning titles in every other major organization. But all that might be about to change.
Speaking with MMA Tonight recently, Alvarez discussed his preparation for his upcoming bout against Justin Gaethje, saying that his lackluster performances in the UFC have been the result of caring too much about the outcome but that for this fight he is getting back to his roots of “not giving a f**k.”
“In my mind, I’m just looking, for myself, I just don’t feel like I’ve fought my best fight in the UFC yet,” said Alvarez. “I feel like I’m having a moment now where I want to say that I’m not giving a f**k and I feel like the less I give a f**k, the better I fight. I think I cared a bit too much, even in my title fight which I won, I just cared a little bit too much and I didn’t risk enough. I just want to approach the game where I really just don’t give a f**k. I think I fight better that way.
“I think when I entered the UFC [I started caring too much]. There was a big thing, could I compete with the best guys in the world? Could I compete with the guys in the UFC? There was that whole stigma that the guys from the smaller promotions couldn’t hang with the best guys in the UFC so I just let my surroundings and the things I was hearing affect the way I was fighting. It made me focus more on winning than on being me. I was so worried about winning and proving people wrong that I could win the UFC world title, [but] when you get focused too much on winning I don’t feel like you’re able to be your total self. I do better when I care less.
“Any fans tuning in, my preparation purely for this fight, if I’m working anything every day, really hard, I’m working on just not giving a f**k so you might want to tune in for this fight.”
Alvarez could have a point. His best performance in the UFC by far was when Rafael dos Anjos “brought the dog out” in him in their lightweight title fight, and after looking like he was on his way to a second straight loss, Alvarez began turning the tide against Dustin Poirier in his last fight when he threw caution to the wind after being repeatedly hurt by Poirier.
That strategy could be disastrous against Gaethje whose style could also be described as “giving no f**ks” but who is five years younger than Alvarez. Alvarez admits that he sees a lot of himself in Gaethje but that Gaethje’s youth will actually be a disadvantage, the same way his own youthful sense of invincibility eventually caught up to him earlier in his career.
“I respect the guy. He trains hard, he has a good strong mind, and he’s undefeated. . . He reminds me a bit of myself when I first started and I felt like I was unbeatable. I felt [that way] until I met that one guy. A lot of the things that he does and the way he approaches the game is a lot like myself and he’s just waiting in a couple months to meet that guy.”
Eddie Alvarez fights Justin Gaethje at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit, Michigan.
A great video piece to accompany this story from Karim Zidan.
Anatomy of a fighter, Francis Ngannou.
Dana on TMZ.
Breaking down how to do the DJ suplex-armbar.
Am’I the only one that thinks that this fight should be for a interim title? Since the champ is out until next year?
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) October 12, 2017
— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) October 12, 2017
OSP down for Latifi’s call out from yesterday.
Shooting his shot.
In all seriousness, you look lean and in shape. Why not in December in Vegas? Am I not worth all might vitor?
— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) October 13, 2017
Dana had a rough day.
Rickson just miles ahead of the curve.
Enjoy this weekend y’all because afterwards we have nine straight weeks of UFC events. We won’t get another free weekend until just before Christmas.
Take it easy and see y’all on Monday.
If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.