Eddie Alvarez won the UFC’s lightweight championship in his fourth bout with the promotion, but the decorated fighter says he has yet to perform at his best in the Octagon.
Alvarez made his way to the UFC in 2014, with a resume that included Bellator’s lightweight title, and notable wins over the likes of Michael Chandler, Patricky Freire, Pat Curran, Shinya Aoki, and Tatsuya Kawajiri. After losing by decision to Donald Cerrone in his Octagon debut, Alvarez went on to win three straight bouts, which included a stoppage win over Rafael dos Anjos, to claim the 155 crown. So, ya. You would think Alvarez has had some of his best performances in the UFC right?
“In my mind, I’m just looking, for myself, I just don’t feel like I’ve fought my best fight in the UFC yet,” said Alvarez. “I feel like I’m having a moment now where I want to say that I’m not giving a f**k and I feel like the less I give a f**k, the better I fight. I think I cared a bit too much, even in my title fight which I won, I just cared a little bit too much and I didn’t risk enough. I just want to approach the game where I really just don’t give a f**k. I think I fight better that way.
“I think when I entered the UFC [I started caring too much]. There was a big thing, could I compete with the best guys in the world? Could I compete with the guys in the UFC? There was that whole stigma that the guys from the smaller promotions couldn’t hang with the best guys in the UFC so I just let my surroundings and the things I was hearing affect the way I was fighting. It made me focus more on winning than on being me. I was so worried about winning and proving people wrong that I could win the UFC world title, [but] when you get focused too much on winning I don’t feel like you’re able to be your total self. I do better when I care less.”
This is pretty interesting to hear no? Now, could Alvarez be telling himself this, to get himself mentally back on track? After being stopped by Conor McGregor and taking some heavy shots in his no-contest result with Dustin Poirier? Possibly.
But, it is true there were a lot of eyes on Alvarez when he made his way into the UFC.
Alvarez is preparing to fight opposing TUF 26 coach and former WSOF champ, Justin Gaethje, on December 2nd at UFC 218. You do not want to miss that fight.