Former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez takes on Dustin Poirier this Saturday Night at UFC 211.
This is going to be the first time Alvarez has fought since losing the gold to Conor McGregor at UFC 205 and after the defeat, the former champion felt a form of freedom.
“I think there’s a freedom in having your worst nightmare come true. As a fighter, your worst nightmare is to get knocked out in front of millions of people. That’s like the dream of waking up naked in your classroom. So getting that out of the way, there’s a freedom in it for me. I never thought it would happen. I never pictured it or visualized it ever happening to me and it happened. I realize after it happened, nothing changed. Nothing changed. My family’s still here, my friends are still here. I’m still the same person. Everybody just wants me to fight again and do well again. Nothing really changed. So there’s a freedom in it and if you haven’t experienced it then you won’t be able to feel the freedom that I have right now,” Alvarez said on The Luke Thomas Show.
Following the loss to McGregor, the Philadelphia native found it hard to get back into training.
“Climbing back from the Nov. 5th fight was difficult. I’d be lying if I told you, ‘Oh I just bounced right back off the mat.’ I needed some serious dusting off. I needed to forgive myself. I’m my own worst critic so I was very disappointed and pissed off at myself about Madison Square Garden. I sat around longer than what I would’ve like to. I would’ve like to just bounce back and just get over it already but it was difficult. It was difficult for me. I put a lot into this so it was difficult but we’re over it and I’m having a great time with training and enjoying myself,” says Alvarez.
Alvarez faces the aforementioned Dustin Poirier, who also suffered a defeat to McGregor
UFC 211 takes place on Saturday, May 13 from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas with Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.