It's pretty much official at this point: Conor McGregor is moving up a weight class to challenge for the Lightweight belt. If he's successful, he will become the only person in history to be the champion of two UFC weight classes at the same time.
That's a pretty huge "if" though, considering the man standing in his way is Rafael Dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos is not only naturally bigger, he also has more experienced (11 more pro fights), and most recently defended the LW belt last month in dominant fashion, knocking out Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in just 1:06 of the first round.
In a recent interview, Rafael Cordeiro, head coach at Kings MMA (Dos Anjos' camp), confirmed that they are training to welcome McGregor "in a brutal way."
“We didn’t receive an official 100 percent confirmation from the UFC, but that’s something we’re waiting on,” Cordeiro said. “From our part, it’s already signed. It’s important to make it clear that this was a request from McGregor. Rafael is really happy to ‘welcome’ him in a brutal way to the lightweight division.”
He added the ominous statement that they plan on beating McGregor "physically" and "spiritually," to "break his soul in the Octagon."
“It’s a fighter that we truly believe we can beat,” he said. “He’s coming from a lower division, and he can be sure that he’ll face a strong champion who will not change his style. McGregor has already proven to be a great athlete, but we have five rounds to beat him and Rafael is coming in hungry to beat him, not only physically but spiritually, and to break his soul inside the Octagon. I bet Rafael will finish him in a brutal way, the same way he has finished his last fights.”
It certainly sounds like Rafael Dos Anjos is looking to make a statement with this match-up. After all, it would be something of an insult to the entire LW division if Conor McGregor was able to move up and take the belt from their champion in just one fight.