Freelance: Who Really Wins at UFC 205?

Conor McGregor vs. José Aldo Jr – thirteen seconds against ten years as a champion…. McGregor was already a star by the time he won the interim UFC featherweight championship. He catapulted himself to mega-stardom with a knockout in thirteen seconds, so much so that his first loss in the UFC to Nate Diaz helped get him a $3 million dollar purse at UFC 202.

Since that time “Notorious” has had just one number on his mind – two – as in two-division world champion. Who’s the man standing in the way of him continuing to etch his name in history? Eddie Alvarez.

Alvarez, a boxer from Rocky Balboa’s city of Philadelphia, should match up surprisingly well against the Irishman when they finally come to blows at Madison Square Garden on November 12th at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. While this should remain largely a standing affair, Alvarez leads “Mystic Mac” by over 20 percent more (92 to 70) according to FightMetric, LLC should they head to the ground. Meanwhile McGregor has almost double the amount of significant strikes landed per minute and a 5% edge in striking accuracy and a 4-inch reach advantage.

Both fighters wrestle like Chuck Liddell, a defensive style to get things back on the feet. Despite this, Alvarez should be able to handle things on the ground thanks to the seven submission victories on his fight CV. Each of McGregor’s three losses have been by way of jiu-jitsu.

Now comes the hard part: Is it better to have conditioning or a high finishing rate? Alvarez has a 79 percent finish rate over 28 wins compared to McGregor’s 90% over 20. The American has gone a standard 15 minutes seven times (6-1) with half of those wins being split decisions. He’s also just 2-1 in fights that go into the championship rounds, with the loss being by rear-naked choke.

McGregor has been in double the amount of battles at least scheduled for a full 25 minutes (main event or title fights) in the UFC and comes into UFC 205 at 5-1 in that situation. In short, fans of either fighter may criticize the other man for not or rarely being able to make it five rounds, but why leave the choice of picking a winner up to the judges when you can silence the haters yourself?

My Picks

  • Striking: McGregor, but relatively even

  • Wrestling / Jiu Jitsu: Alvarez

  • Conditioning: McGregor

  • Finish: McGregor

  • Experience: Alvarez

Winner Pick/Round/Circumstances:

  • McGregor- Striking finish- Within two rounds (depending on his usage of energy)

  • Alvarez-Grappling finish- Any round

  • Alvarez-Striking finish-Between Rounds 3 to 5 (depending on his usage of energy)

  • Decision: McGregor (based on striking volume)