The occasion seemed to get to Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in New York City.
The multiple-promotion champion traded verbal barbs with opponent Conor McGregor at the pre-fight press conference, but looked flustered when the cage door closed on Nov. 12.
Alvarez was unable to implement the wrestling-based gameplan he’d worked so hard on with his coaches and ended up paying the ultimate price in the main event.
The Philadelphia local lost his lightweight belt to now two-division champion McGregor after being floored by a stunning four-punch combination in the second round.
Alvarez, who gave ‘The Notorious’ full props for the win, said he’s been bombarded by fans telling him that he ‘threw the fight’ on social media. Due to his underwhelming performance, though, the former lightweight champ understands why people would think that.
"I've been getting on my [social media] and I'm getting that I threw the fight," Alvarez told Chael Sonnen on his podcast (h/t Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting). "People are like ‘you threw the fight, you threw the fight.' I literally can understand the people's frustrations with me and them telling me that. When I watch the fight personally myself, I'm like, I did everything to lose this fucking fight. I did everything. I couldn't have done worse for myself. I don't know if it was because I got buzzed in the beginning of the fight. I can't really put my finger on it. I fumbled 10 times and you can't win the game fumbling."
Despite losing, Alvarez is is still one of the most accomplished lightweight fighters in the sport and has won world titles all over world. The 32-year-old has said that he doesn’t define himself by any single loss -- or win -- and hopes to reestablish himself as one of the division’s top contenders.