The Conor McGregor hype train seems like it has no brakes, but UFC lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos is unimpressed.
While Conor McGregor is the UFC's featherweight champion, his move to lightweight has some precedent. Before his landmark UFC run, McGregor was the simultaneous champ lightweight and featherweight champ in Cage Warriors, one of Europe's leading promotions.
Dos Anjos doesn't think much of this achievement though.
"UFC lightweight division isn't the belt he got in Ireland when he fought a guy with a record of 2-7," Dos Anjos said to 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."
It's worth noting that while no one can argue that a Cage Warriors belt is even in the same ballpark as a UFC one, Conor McGregor faced stiff competition in that organization.
To win the lightweight title, McGregor faced a fighter named Ivan Buchinger, who at the time, held a 21-3 record (McGregor meanwhile, was 11-2). Since that loss, Buchinger has gone undefeated, amassing a 30-4 record.
"Lightweight division is a different story," Dos Anjos added. "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."
"He doesn't have anything to lose. 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."
Dos Anjos also took a few minutes to respond to McGregor's recent "traitor" comment.
"It doesn't make any sense," Dos Anjos said. "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."
The two will face each other at UFC 197 on March 5.