Sunday 4 December 2016

'His crystal ball is not working well'- Rafael Dos Anjos vows to 'humble' Conor McGregor

Tom Rooney

Published 17/02/2016 | 14:35

Rafael Dos Anjos, UFC president Dana White and Conor McGregor pose following the press conference
Rafael Dos Anjos, UFC president Dana White and Conor McGregor pose following the press conference

With a little over a fortnight to go before Conor McGregor challenges Rafael Dos Anjos for the lightweight title at UFC 196, the promotional machine, as is customary, has launched into overdrive.

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There’s barely been a peep from 'The Notorious’ since he sauntered in late to the pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas last month, proclaiming himself the successor to captured Mexican drug-lord El Chapo Guzman.

But with March 5 fast approaching, both he and Dos Anjos are headlining what could prove the most significant event in the company’s history, with the UFC beginning to drip-feed their latest productions.

As is now abundantly clear, should McGregor prevail, he will be the first man ever to consecutively hold UFC titles, and is only the second to attempt the feat, after BJ Penn.

As the industry wonders if he already wields too much power, were he to lord over two divisions the fighting landscape would be forever changed.

He’s achieved the feat on a much smaller level in Cage Warriors, and is adamant it’ll happen again at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Such is his unquenchable ambition, he’s already plotting a course to the welterweight division.

“I look forward to being the first. I’ve changed the whole game, inside and out. And, I’m only warming up. I just see easy targets everywhere. I want to get that second belt and then campaign for something else.”

However, Dos Anjos is without shadow of a doubt the most well versed opponent he’s ever confronted and, after winning 11 of his last 12 bouts, the Brazilian has eliminated just about ever legitimate contender at 155lbs.  Expectedly, McGregor’s 'schtick' doesn’t do much for him. 

“Conor’s in my head? Of course he is. All my opponents are in my head, and it just makes me more hungry to fight.  He’s not going to beat me in one minute or 25 minutes; he’s not going to beat me any where. His crystal ball is not working well for this fight, it’s kind of blurry.”

Co-headlining the card is women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm, the woman who dethroned Ronda Rousey, making the first defence of her title against perennial contender Miesha Tate.

Watch this extended preview to UFC 196