One of the characteristics of Conor McGregor's UFC tenure thus far is his ability to rile up fighters across numerous different weight classes, setting up future rivalries across the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions.
Everyone from Donald Cerrone to Rafael Dos Anjos to Robbie Lawler (among others) have been on the receiving end of tongue-lashings from the Dubliner during his metoric rise through the UFC's featherweight division and a high level of hype has been created to see McGregor eventually face off against these foes.
Well now it seems that Eddie Alvarez, the newly-crowned UFC lightweight champion, has learned to play that game too.
Speaking at a fan Q&A ahead of Saturday night's UFC 201 (which you can see in full below), Alvarez reserved some very harsh words not just for McGregor himself, but also for his fans.
You McGregor fans are a bit swayed, you're a bit biased and you aren't seeing what I see as a fighter. What I'm seeing are not the right style matchups. He's fighting the perfect style matchups for himself and he's not fighting the guys that can threaten him the way I can or the way any of these wrestlers can threaten him.
If you look at his fights he's not been in a lot of bad positions and there is a reason for that. The style matchups have been in his favor and I'm not the style matchup that is in his favor. I can put him in bad places and I don't think he will be able to deal with that or overcome it.
Alvarez won the UFC lightweight title in an upset first round TKO of former champion (and one-time scheduled opponent of McGregor's), Rafael Dos Anjos and now it seems he's laid down a gauntlet for McGregor to answer once the Nate Diaz bout at UFC 202 is in the rearviewmirror.
Fighters like Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are among the top contenders to Alvarez's crown but the Philadelphian fighter didn't mince his words when he said who he would like to stare across the cage at for his first title defence.
Look, I fight the best, he fights the rest. That's how it goes. Tony [Ferguson] is calling me out, Khabib is calling me out - when you win the belt, everyone just calls you out. I got my own agenda, I'm just trying to get this fight [with McGregor].