UFC 205 Odds: Can Eddie Alvarez Beat Conor McGregor?

By Kevin Roberts in Sports & Betting on September 27, 2016

At a time where we’re just finally starting to hear whispers of a Ronda Rousey return to the Octagon, we now know who Conor McGregor will face in his next battle.

Weeks after downing Nate Diaz in a bloodied rematch, the man best known as Notorious already knows who and when he’ll fight next: Eddie Alvarez at a suddenly flat out busting UFC 205.

McGregor will take on Alvarez, the current holder of the UFC’s lightweight title belt. McGregor currently hold the belt for the featherweight division and could make history by beating Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the first fighter to hold both at the same time.

That will be a sidenote that won’t last forever, of course, as UFC showrunner Dana White already stated publicly that following a win over Alvarez (should McGregor pull it off), the Irishman would have to ditch one of the two belts.

Which belt McGregor would leave behind, even White isn’t sure of just yet.

What we all can be sure of however, is a big (and possibly great) fight coming our way at UFC 205. McGregor (20-3) will draw Alvarez (28-4), who is quite experienced and has just one loss (Decision to the feisty Donald Cerrone) in his last seven trips to the Octagon.

The big question, of course, is if Alvarez has what it takes to beat McGregor. Let’s slow play this one and see if that’ll be the case come UFC 205.

Who is Eddie Alvarez?

Before we even get into the McGregor vs. Alvarez odds or whether or not Eddie Alvarez can pull off the upset, let’s first acknowledge how awesome of a fighter this guy is, regardless.

Most UFC fans know exactly who Alvarez is. He hasn’t gotten to 28-4 in MMA by accident, as he’s displayed elite toughness and tenacity en route to just two true losses in his entire career. Not an easy guy to knock out or submit, Alvarez can beat you in a number of ways, as he can go the distance, submit you or – his specialty – knock you out.

You could take a look at a lot of his past fight footage to grasp the kind of fighter he is or what he’s capable of, but the best one to take a look at might be a 3-round Decision he dropped in a battle with Donald Cerrone:

This displays a more collected Alvarez that is facing an elite opponent. You can see his full arsenal here, from his inside/outside game, to his footwork, patience and how he picks his spots to be aggressive.

While Alvarez lost the Decision here to a very good fighter, he still showcases a lot of his strengths and had he taken advantage of a few spots, maybe have found a way to squeeze this one out.

Alvarez’s history tells us more about him, however, as he does not have knee-jerk reactions very often and he is fairly careful despite having an aggressive, mean streak nature.

The kicker for Alvarez is how versatile his MMA skill-set is. The guy has recorded seven submission wins and certainly knows how to incorporate quick movement, kicks and can win by standing up or going to the ground. His versatility and high fighting IQ are added attributes McGregor will undoubtedly have to account for.

McGregor vs Alvarez Odds

The odds for this fight are already up, and while they could change ahead of December’s showdown, it’s unlikely we see any betting site list McGregor as the underdog.

Right now at Bovada this one is being called pretty close, considering this was a much-anticipated clash and both of these fighters are of the elite variety. Here’s what we’re looking at for McGregor vs. Alvarez odds at the moment:

  • Conor McGregor to Win -150
  • Eddie Alvarez to Win +120

It’s a narrow margin here, as McGregor probably is the superior striker and really upped his game in his last match, when he displayed top notch patience and picked his spots way better against Nate Diaz.

Knowing McGregor can adapt to his opponent better going forward, it’s tough to see the betting sites not backing him. That being said, Alvarez is a prolific fighter who has a very intense style. McGregor has his work cut out for him in what is ultimately a toss-up when you look at the odds.

Can Alvarez Win?

Absolutely. Anyone who thinks Alvarez has no chance isn’t giving credit to a guy who has taken down some massive UFC names and really only has three true losses to his name.

Alvarez has shown well against the likes of Donald Cerrone, Rafael dos Anjos and Anthony Pettis – actually beating the last two. Taking down dos Anjos with punches was rather impressive, further detailing this is a dangerous guy to spar with.

The real danger is that Alvarez can kill you from anywhere on the mat. The guy knows MMA and as we said before, is really good at picking his spots. For a smaller guy who uses kicks and can submit, he also surprisingly has a wicked punch, which his astonishing 15 knockout wins can attest to.

If you’re wondering if Alvarez has the ability to win, the answer is a massive, emphatic yes. He very rarely looks confused or ill prepared and he’s rounded his skill-set so well over the past few years that we’ve seen him lose by anything other than a Decision just once since 2008. Considering he’s fought 20 times since 2008, that’s really saying something.

Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez Prediction

We will surely resurface with a much closer look at this McGregor vs. Alvarez fight, but right now we can point out the obvious: McGregor is the better and more impressive UFC fighter right now.

Alvarez is absolutely capable of shocking the world here (although due to how good he is, it wouldn’t be that shocking) but it feels like Notorious has mapped out a distinct path for himself and getting Alvarez’s title and making history is very much part of that.

As strong of an opponent as Alvarez is, let’s consider what McGregor has accomplished. This is a guy that people have counted out numerous times now, yet all he does is adapt his game and move past roadblocks. He lost to Diaz and came back and did just enough to score the win, he’s been submitted three times and seems to have learned from every single defeat.

McGregor ran into a bigger, tougher opponent in Nate Diaz and showed he can hand out some of the most powerful punches in the UFC and take them. Alvarez is more his size and speed, and while it’s not right to say it’ll be an easier fight, this does feel like an opponent McGregor will have an easier time adapting to and beating. Overall, we don’t love the McGregor/Alvarez odds, but we would take Notorious to win and quite possibly by knockout.

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