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Eddie Alvarez’s UFC 205 corner instructions - Complete transcript

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Eddie Alvarez’s UFC 205 title defense didn’t go as planned. But, what exactly was the plan? Audio from Alvarez’s corner can give us a pretty good idea.

MMA: UFC 205-McGregor vs Alvarez Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Individual sports - and most particularly combat sports - are never quite as individual as they seem. And then again, it’s hard to think of any athlete more subject to the severity of being alone in competition than a fighter in the middle of a round. That dichotomy was on stark display at UFC 205, especially if you happened to be tuned in to Eddie Alvarez’s corner audio during his title fight against Conor McGregor.

During Alvarez’s eight minutes of cage time, his ears were filled with codes, gameplans, and instructions, shouted out by coaches Ricardo Almeida and Mark Henry. Most notably, a lot of takedowns (73s) were called for, but never came. Out in the ring against McGregor, it seems that Alvarez just couldn’t find the avenues that he and his coaches had practiced.

Pundit Arena transcribed Alvarez’s corner audio, to take fans moment by moment through one of the toughest losses of Eddie Alvarez’s career:

PRE-FIGHT

Almeida: He’s going to go right at him. He’s got to be careful.

ROUND 1

Mark Henry: Yeah! 73 on the knee. Yeah! 73 on the knee! 73 on the knee!

Almeida : Move the head. Move the head.

Henry: 73 on the knee! 73 on the knee! 73 on the knee! You’re too much in front. You’re in front too much! Change. Foot. Foot! That’s it. You’re too much in front!!

Almeida: Foot, foot, foot, foot, foot!

Henry: 73!

Almeida: Foot, foot, foot!

Henry: 73. 73. Eddie, 73.

[Alvarez circles right]

Almeida: He’s going the wrong way. The other way!! Foot, foot, foot!

Henry: Eddie, 73!

[Alvarez goes down hard off a McGregor left, but rises astoundingly quickly]

Henry: 73!

[73 repeated multiple times by both corner men]

Henry: Eddie, chain! Chain, Eddie, chain! Chain. Chain

Almeida: Chain, chain, chain, chain! Chin down. Hands up, chin down. That’s not working, he’s got to mack it.

Henry: Stiff! Stiff! Mac!

Almeida: Mack, mack, mack, mack, mack!

Henry: Eddie, mack. Eddie, mack.

Almeida: Mack. Mack!

[Alvarez hits the deck once again]

Almeida: Eddie, put him in the guard, put him in the guard. Use the cage. Use the cage. Get your knees inside, knees inside.

[Alvarez continues to circle to his right]

Almeida: The other way. 73!

Henry: Eddie, 73. 73. 73, now!.

Almeida: He keeps getting countered. Foot, foot, foot!

Henry: Eddie, on the count of two. On the count of two! Eddie, 73 now!

Almeida: 73!

Third voice: He’s not going to do it, you got to call something else.

Almeida: Foot, foot, foot!

Henry: Eddie, 73!

Almeida: Hands up! Follow up with a shot.

Henry: Eddie follow with a blow. Blow, Eddie, blow! 226! Eddie, 226. 226! 73. Eddie, 73!

BETWEEN ROUNDS

Almeida: Take the stool, take the stool. The stool!

Henry: I need you to stutter step before you go. Your speed is the same. Look at me son – I need you to get that shot on his punch. Make him punch and shoot. Be ready to shoot. I want the head outside of his damn right hip and take his butt down. Chain it. If you miss it, chain it. Listen. Look at me. I want you to think you’re gonna miss it. I want you to know you’re gonna miss the first shot. I want the second shot.

Almeida: Your kicks are working good. Listen, you need to mack it. He is throwing his left hand over your hand, you got to mack it.

ROUND 2

Henry: Mack, Eddie, mack! Cam, Eddie, cam!

Almeida: It’s the only way he throws. If he doesn’t throw, he doesn’t counter, Eddie.

Henry: Eddie, 22 low. Low 22, hard! [Repeated by others]…Eddie, 73 kick. Please, Eddie. Chain, Eddie, chain! Chain, Eddie. Chain!

Almeida: 22. 22.

Henry: Eddie, do 26.

Almeida: He’s throwing over.

[McGregor stuffs an Alvarez takedown attempt]

Henry: Again. Eddie, I need a second one. Eddie, chain. I need chains. Eddie, I need chains. Chain, Eddie, chain! And, and, and.

Almeida: Keep throwing that 20, Eddie – the 20.

Henry: Low 22. Low 22. 73! Eddie, [term unclear]

Almeida: Repeats term 3 times. Hands up, hands up, hands up! 22. 22. 22, hard. 22.

Henry: Eddie 73!

Almeida: The cage!

Henry: Eddie, FC 73!

[Eddie forces Conor against the cage]

Almeida: Nice! Lock the hands, lock the hands. Bounce, bounce, bounce!

Henry: Bounce, Eddie, bounce!

Almeida: Head position. Head position! Eddie, we got to bump the head out.

Henry: Bounce, Eddie, bounce!

Almeida: Get the head outside. Head outside!

Third voice: Head position!

Almeida: Eddie work the head outside. Head outside! [McGregor pushes Alvarez off and moves away from the fence] Foot, foot, foot, foot, foot! He just can’t…

Henry: Eddie move your feet!

Almeida: Move your feet, kid, your feet!

Henry: Straight, Eddie, straight.

Almeida: You got to move your feet.

Henry: You got to move your feet, Eddie. Don’t go outside again. Low 73, Eddie, please listen. Low 73.

And that’s it. McGregor dialed up Alvarez with a four punch combination just as Henry was shouting those last instructions. After a burst of followup ground-n-pound, the fight was over.

Alvarez himself talked about his deviation from the gameplan on Instagram, saying, “To sum up our plan in a sentence it was ‘Go left and mostly wrestle’ instead I circled into his left hand and mostly boxed.”

MMA is an individual sport. At the end of the fight, the fighter alone bears the responsibility for whether or not they won or lost, whether they performed as well as they could have or did not. But that doesn’t mean their corner isn’t right there, in the moment, trying to do whatever they can to help their fighter win.