aTo be the man, you have to beat the man, or at least train with a guy trying to act like that man. This is what Eddie Alvarez is doing.
Already sporting the UFC lightweight championship belt after his destruction of Rafael dos Anjos, Alvarez will try to stop McGregor from taking it from him at at #UFC205. To help him deal with the unique striking challenge McGregor presents, he's enlisted the help of Jonas Bilharinho. Since cloning opponents for the use of MMA training isn't a viable option, he'll be the next best thing.
Bilharinho shares more than just a similar fighting style with McGregor, he was the simultaneous Jungle Fight bantamweight and featherweight champion before his first loss this past April. It's an accomplishment that McGregor achieved in Cage Warrors with the featherweight and lightweight titles, and something he'll attempt to replicate in the UFC in November.
Jose Aldo's former training partner.
The most interesting thing about Bilharinho is that Jose Aldo also hired him for #UFC189 as a McGregor-mirror, as well. Not only did Bilharinho throw fancy kicks and jutted in-and-out with punches like a fencer, he also ran his mouth to Aldo during training to prepare him for McGregor's Stockton-esque Octagon banter.
"[I talked trash] a lot. A lot. Never ever ever did anyone try to talk to Aldo during fights, and I am 100% sure that Conor will," Bilharinho said to MMA Digest. "I was talking to Aldo during training and he lost his mind! He lost his mind, and I said to him 'man, you've got to focus, you've got to concentrate'. Now he doesn't lose focus at all when I'm cursing at him. Now I can curse his mother, and he will do nothing."
I hope that Bilharinho also talks trash during his training with Alvarez, and that his Portuguese accent doesn't throw him off. Maybe he can bring in an Irish guy just to yell stuff at him while Bilharinho tries to kick his head off in silence.
Watch the footage of Jonas "Speed" Bilharinho with Aldo below.
The full UFC 205 PPV card is currently:
- Eddie Alvarez (c) vs. Conor McGregor
- Tyron Woodley (c) vs. Stephen Thompson
- Joanna Jędrzejczyk (c) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
- Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero
- Kelvin Gastelum vs. Donald Cerrone
- Miesha Tate vs. Raquel Pennington