Rafael dos Anjos says Conor McGregor is crazy if he thinks his Irish lightweight belt will count for anything when they meet in the ring.
UFC featherweight champion McGregor will look to become the first man to simultaneously hold a pair of UFC title belts when he challenges Dos Anjos for his lightweight crown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on March 5.
McGregor has fought at the heavier weight before and is a former lightweight champ in Ireland, but Dos Anjos is not impressed by those credentials.
“UFC lightweight division isn’t the belt he got in Ireland when he fought a guy with a record of 2-7,” he told MMAFighting.com. “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.
“Lightweight division is a different story. We’ll see. Everybody talks. Anthony Pettis talked before the fight. Donald Cerrone talked before the fight. See what happened? 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.”
Dos Anjos knows McGregor will be in a win-win situation when he challenges for the lightweight belt.
“He doesn’t have anything to lose,” said Dos Anjos. “He’s a smart guy. He knows that if he loses to [featherweight contenders] Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar, he doesn’t have anything. But at lightweight, if he wins, he’s the man. If he loses, he still has his belt.
“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.”
McGregor has already started trash talking Dos Anjos, calling him a traitor to Brazil for moving to the United States, but Dos Anjos has warned the Irishman he won’t let his mouth get to him the way it got to Jose Aldo.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Dos Anjos said when asked about McGregor’s remarks. “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.”