PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eddie Alvarez is the real rocky of Philadelphia.
And if Alvarez is Rocky, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is like Clubber Lang.
Alvarez, the Philadelphia born (Kensington), will defend his UFC lightweight belt for the first time since winning it in July against McGregor, UFC’s most profitable fighter.
Alvarez’s career has taken off and he isn’t ever going to forget his roots.
“The city of Philadelphia is everything to me, it’s always has been,” Alvarez said on Wednesday’s 94WIP Morning Show. “I had one goal in mind when I began fighting. That goal was purely to be able to fight for a living, to do something that I loved to do every day and be able just make enough money to be able to sustain myself. And I surpassed every single one and that was with the help of Philadelphia showing up and supporting me throughout my career.”
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Alvarez and McGregor will fight on Saturday night at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden and McGregor has promised, not only to beat Alvarez, but to end his career.
“I think his words are words of desperation,” Alvarez said of McGregor’s confidence. “He’s a desperate man. I’m ready, I’m prepared, and my team planned very well.”
Listen: Eddie Alvarez on the 94WIP Morning Show
Alvarez doesn’t consider himself an underdog, despite Vegas listing McGregor as a -145 favorite.
“No, not at all,” Alvarez said when asked if he thinks he is the underdog. “It’s popular opinion. And popular opinion doesn’t always mean it’s real. Sometimes the mass of people, even most of the time, don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”
This is one of the biggest moments of Alvarez’s career, but he has trained himself to keep the nerves in his body and out of his head.
“Nerves are good as long as they don’t enter your head,” he said. “I like to keep the nerves in my body, not in my head. I’ve learned to do this over time.”