Sunday 11 December 2016

'He's going to be scared once I hit him'- Rafael Dos Anjos dismisses Conor McGregor

Tom Rooney

Published 15/01/2016 | 12:22

Dos Anjos and Conor McGregor
Dos Anjos and Conor McGregor

Lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos is confident that Conor McGregor will crumble with fear the moment he lays a glove on the Dubliner at UFC 197.

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The UFC confirmed on Tuesday night that Dos Anjos will make the second defence of his title against the SBG Ireland export on March 5 in Las Vegas and, typically, McGregor was quick to send a few barbs his way.

In a Facebook post, the Crumlin native more than questioned the Brazilian’s patriotism and also promised to ‘behead’ him. Dos Anjos relocated to California from Rio with his family in 2012 in order to train full-time in the famed Kings MMA gym which, according to McGregor, is tantamount to treachery.

Speaking to MMAFighting.com, the 31-year-old dismissed the comments of his upcoming opponent as ridiculous.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” he said of the jibe on social media. “We have a lot of Brazilians in the United States; it doesn't mean we're traitors to our country. I've got kids and I had to move for different things like better wrestling training partners here.

“I think that was a frustrated way to try to win the Brazilian fans. This guy is out of his mind. He's going to try to do his best to try to mess with my head. I don't hate him, but the Brazilians do. Brazil is on my side.”

Having not lived under a rock for the last year, Dos Anjos is acutely aware of the fanfare and media circus that accompanies a fight with the recently-minted featherweight champion.

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Accordingly, he knows exactly what to expect in the coming months and is, thus far, unperturbed by McGregor’s patented methods of antagonism. He’s also promised to serve him a stiff dose of humility.

“I don't feel any pressure - I have to take care of my family, my team and my legacy. It's one more fight. There isn't anything special in this fight. I'm just happy to put my hands on this guy and make him humble. I think the toughest part of this camp will be not putting my hands on him before the fight happens.”

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Dos Anjos captured the lightweight crown in March 2015 with a massive upset victory over Anthony Pettis, and only defended his title for the first time when beating Donald Cerrone last month, just one week after McGregor usurped Jose Aldo at UFC 194.

‘The Notorious’ is aiming to become the first man in UFC history to concurrently hold two titles, a feat he already achieved before arriving in the promotion in 2013, albeit on a far more modest scale.

McGregor held the Cage Warriors and feather and lightweight crowns, though Dos Anjos was suitably unimpressed and said he has little chance of replicating the achievement at the highest level.

“It's a different world. He fought guys that don't even have Sherdog pages. He holds belts off his amateur show in Ireland. It's a different story to hold two UFC belts. I'll let him talk and we'll see what happens. I hope he's training hard. I think he's going to be scared once I hit him," he said.

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