Rafael dos Anjos has been the model of good behavior recently, especially considering that Conor McGregor has seemingly upped his trash talking to an entirely new level.
At the recent UFC 197 press conference, McGregor riffed on everything from "El Chapo," to Dos Anjos' team, and wouldn't even let the lightweight champ get out a few sentences before interrupting him.
To his credit, Dos Anjos played it cool (although he said before the event that, "the most complicated part of all this will be control myself so I don’t put my hands on this lunatic before the fight").
That doesn't mean that McGregor is easy to stomach though, and you can bet that Dos Anjos is steaming.
"He crosses the line all the time," Dos Anjos told the media in Brazil (as reported by MMA Fighting). "He answered questions the media asked me, talked about my kids, said I’m not a Brazilian. Man, all the time. He said I’m sloppy. He crosses the line all the time.
"He’s here to confuse everyone, give the sport a bad image. He thinks it’s nice to dress up like a drug dealer. I don’t think that’s a nice way to promote a fight. That doesn’t add anything to the sport. Georges St-Pierre always sold well as a champion doing exactly the opposite."
"That bothered me, but I knew he would bring those weapons. I was ready for that," he said. "Talk about my wife, my kids, Jesus, my team. What can I do? He’s a lunatic. I will answer him on March 5. [Fabricio] Werdum called me saying ‘my friend, go get him, throw something at him, a bottle’. But that’s not my style. I will answer him when the time comes. On March 5, I will be the one doing the talk."
Most interesting of all though, is the idea that Dos Anjos actually likes the fact that Conor McGregor is getting in his head.
"Every opponent gets inside my head because I think about them for three of four months," Dos Anjos said. "He’s in my head just like every other opponent before. I wake up thinking about him, I go to the gym thinking about him. That’s how he’s in my head. Nate Diaz pushed me at the weigh-in, but I fight ever better when my opponents make it personal. I will dominate him."
"Aldo had to listen to this guy for a long time, and I will only listen for two months," he added. "I won’t have to see this guy until fight week now. I will dominate him on March 5. I’ll put him back to his place. I think I have the experience. It’s my 20th fight in the UFC. I’m not saying the others weren’t focused, but I will be calm on fight night and use my strategy because I know the victory is mine. I know this guy won’t make history over me. I’m super confident I will beat him up."
UFC 197 will take place on March 5, and will also feature a women's bantamweight title fight between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate.