Conor McGregor has never lacked confidence, and he has no shortage of it heading into his lightweight championship bout against Eddie Alvarez at the top of the card for UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
In the press conference at Madison Square Garden announcing the debut UFC show in New York City, McGregor predicted a first-round knockout of Alvarez, which would make him the first fighter ever to simultaneously hold championship belts in two weight classes.
“Like I said, he’s chinny,” McGregor boasted. “He has a chin. He gets cracked. He gets dropped. It’s happened throughout his career. He’s a weathered fighter. He’s on his way out. He’s very, very lucky to be in the position he’s in. One round it will take me to knock him out.
“I rule New York. I run this whole (expletive), and Mystic Mac predicts I’m going to KO you inside one round.”
McGregor feels strongly about the early knockout because of Alvarez’s style after watching his title victory over Rafael do Anjos in July.
Although Alvarez walked away with a first-round TKO victory over dos Anjos, McGregor was unimpressed by his approach to the fight.
“His style, I’ve been whooping that style for a long, long time,” McGregor said. “The stocky stuff wrestler with an overhand, that’s it. I’ve been beating these guys up.
“I thought it was very sloppy. The shot selection was very, very poor. He got blessed. He got blessed with a lucky shot. His UFC career has been horrendous. He’s very, very lucky to be in the position he is in. He understands that. That’s why he took this fight on the money he was the last fight. That says it all.”
As for those who question McGregor’s wrestling defense, something that has not been a strength of his over the years, the proud Irishman reminded everyone that the last time he fought a wrestler, Chad Mendes last July, he won by TKO due to punches.
“How did that one go? How did that one go?” McGregor said. “Last time I checked, he was unconscious. What are you talking about? He’s going to be shooting for his life. That’s a long 25 minutes in there. I can hit you from anywhere, and that’s what’s going to happen to him.
“He’s going to be shielding and panicking, and I’m going to be hitting him from everywhere. Sooner or later, he’s going to fall. One of those elbows, one of those shots are going to dig into that soft sweet spot of the temple and that’s all she wrote. Two weight world champion! UFC history! New York, the Irish are back!”