Eddie Alvarez Explains Why He Turned Down Fight With Khabib Nurmagomedov

Conor Mc Gregor UFC 223

When it comes to striking differential (i.e. significant strikes landed per minute minus significant strikes absorbed per minute), Nurmagomedov stands apart in the lightweight division. Holloway's UFC career striking differential is well above that average, but at +2.30 he still lags behind Nurmagomedov. With the history between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov and the possibility of them fighting later this year, the fans want to see them face to face. Nurmagomedov is an accurate striker with great takedown ability and he's arguably the best grappler in the sport now. Nurmagomedov is always a threat to force a submission, he's well conditioned to be effective for all rounds, and he lands accurate strikes to hold his own standing up.

There is already tension leading up to UFC 223.

Max Holloway enters this fight with a 19-3 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by knockout.

"He's a very risky opponent, who dropped Jose Aldo in his last bout". He absorbs only 1.52 significant strikes per minute, by far the tops among ranked lightweights. Holloway is averaging 0.28 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 80 percent. And especially if that fight was to take place in Russian Federation, that would be insane.

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"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", Alvarez explained on Instagram. When news of Holloway's decision first surfaced, questions were raised regarding the state of his cardio, as well as his ankle.

Holloway is a warrior who has more than proven himself and should never be counted out against anybody.

However, even if he had been closer to 155lbs, Alvarez is honest enough to admit that he wouldn't have been in a hurry to sign up to fight Nurmagomedov on such short notice. "Max Holloway's a f**king beast", said Alvarez.

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