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Eddie Alvarez: Khabib Nurmagomedov is not the type of fighter you face on six days notice

MMA: UFC 219-Nurmagmedov vs Barboza Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

By now you know Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had more than one choice to step in and face Khabib Nurmagomedov at this weekend’s (Sat., April 7, 2018) UFC 223 pay-per-view (PPV) event after Tony Ferguson was forced out with an injury.

While the honor eventually went to Max Holloway, top featherweight contender Brian Ortega revealed UFC President Dana White rang him up with the offer — one he accepted — in case “Blessed” chose not to answer the call. Now, former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has come forward to reveal he, too, was offered the chance to face “The Eagle,” but since he’s walking around at 190 pounds, it was a fight he simply couldn’t take.

That said, “The Underground King” is kicking himself for not being ready, given the fact this is now the fourth time a fight between Khabib and Tony has been scrapped.

“It would have been great to be ready for that fight and be ready to step in and save the day, but unfortunately, I am way, way too big to make the 155-pound limit on six days’ notice. I think most guys at 155, especially in the top five, can’t make that 155-pound limit on six days’ notice,” he said to MMA Fighting.

“I’ll be honest, I’m disappointed in myself a little bit because I kind of had the foresight to see this happening,” said Alvarez. “I even talked about it happening, but when it got like three to four weeks out, I just said, ‘F**k it, these guys are gonna fight. There’s really no reason for me to be ready,” he added before revealing his weight.

“I’m every bit of 190 right now so there wasn’t even a small chance that I could make 155 ... I asked about doing a catchweight at welterweight but all they asked me was what’s the lowest that I could get to. I’m probably a little more than 190. I’m heavier than I’ve ever been because I haven’t fought in a long time.”

While Holloway does have a tough weight cut ahead of him, the Hawaiian-born fighter competes at 145 pounds, so his cut down won’t be as excruciating compared to what Alvarez would’ve gone through.

As for the challenge itself, Alvarez says Khabib is not the type of fighter you face on six days notice.

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take advantage of that opportunity, but to be honest with you, my real feelings on it is that Khabib is not the fighter that you take on six days’ notice,” said Alvarez. “In order to beat Khabib, you need to be conditioned, No. 1. He already poses a unique style but number one you have to be very, very well conditioned. Beating Khabib on six days’ notice is a very, very, tough, tough task.”

While oddsmakers aren’t giving the 145-pound champion a chance to hand “The Eagle” his first-ever loss (details), Holloway has the opportunity to make history and cement his legacy as one of the greatest champions in history should he pull off the upset.

Maybe even propel him into legend status.

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