If the upcoming #UFC205 card is supposed to be all about the historical implications of the monumental moment, it's worth it to acknowledge just how strange history is in retrospect.
Conor McGregor was supposed to fight for a title, but a Brazilian pulled out of the highly-hyped bout due to an injury and he was forced to fight someone else. No, this wasn't Jose Aldo. This was "Portuguese Frankenstein" Rafael dos Anjos.
It was #UFC197—Well, it was supposed to be. McGregor was fresh as a daisy after his 13 second knockout of Aldo on December 12th. So fresh, in fact, that he was slated to fight for the UFC lightweight title on March 5th against dos Anjos in his first attempt at two titles. McGregor would be in top form and debut his "El Chapo" alternate outfit like you'd unlock in a video game. The fight would never happen.
Ten months and two Nate Diaz fights later, McGregor tries to do it all again with Eddie Alvarez. A fight that coach John Kavanagh thinks is an easier path to titles at two weights.
“I think Alvarez is a little bit more straightforward. Dos Anjos obviously has a world-class submission game on the ground. Alvarez is more basic on the ground. He’s just going to hold you there and throw some shots, whereas dos Anjos has very slick jiu-jitsu.,” Kavanagh said via MMAjunkie. "In other respects, they’re both quite similar in that they’re both physically similar, and similar style. A couple punches, then try to get a takedown. But I think Eddie is slightly the easier fight because he’s orthodox and doesn’t have quite the submission game as dos Anjos.”
Of course, Alvarez did completely destroy dos Anjos already to become the lightweight champ, which was the catalyst for the absolute best fight reaction of all time. However, Kavanagh believes the style match-up of this new contender plays much more into McGregor's hands.
"This is going to be a range war and Eddie’s losing that one," Kavanagh said. "I can see a similar fight to [Chad] Mendes [at UFC 189]. I think Eddie will use up a lot of energy in round one trying to pin Conor to the fence. I think late in round two, the left hand will land and that will be all she wrote.”
We never got to see El Chapo McGregor in action, how will new "Bane Coat" McGregor perform?