Conor McGregor talks a lot of shit as anyone who follows the UFC or MMA can attest. In fact, he talks so much that his words actually help mold public perception. And right now that public perception is even making its way into the betting odds for his fight at UFC 196 with Rafael dos Anjos.
He's favored to win the fight even though he is fighting up a division from and taking on the standing lightweight champion. Rafael dos Anjos has taken notice and recently went on The MMA Hour to discuss how he feels about "The Notorious" shit-talker.
"He’s not going to make history over me," he said on Monday.
"For me, it’s a normal fight. I feel focused, very in shape. Of course, it’s been different because it’s a big fight. I think it’s not the biggest opponent, not the toughest opponent, but it’s the biggest fight of my career because this guy, the way that he’s been talking, he’s been getting a lot of fans. He’s been very popular. But I’ve faced better guys before, stronger guys, better guys. And I think this is just going to be one more fight."
He even mentioned some fighters who he believes are better than McGregor...
"Man, Ben Henderson, Donald Cerrone…these guys are a different level man. They are stronger, they are faster, they are taller than this guy. I didn’t have a chance to say it to Dana White at the press conference because that guy he didn’t let me speak. But I want to thank Dana White and Lorenzo for finally giving me an easy fight. Finally, I always have tough fights against beasts. And finally, I have an easy fight."
He doesn't believe he's weaker than McGregor in any area...
"Man, I don’t agree — I think I can beat this guy anywhere. I think if I fight a jiu-jitsu match with him, I’ll beat him. If I fight a karate match with him, I’ll beat him. If I fight a K-1 rules with him, I’d beat him. I think I can beat him anywhere. I’m going to do my job, I’m going to do whatever I’ve been doing with my fights. I’m going to break his mind standing. He’s going to feel very bad after getting hit hard several times, and then maybe, if I feel I want, I will take him down and smash him a little bit on the ground.
"But I’m not going into this fight like, ‘oh, I’m not going to stand with Conor,’ because I think he doesn’t bring anything different to me, you know? I think I’m a better fighter everywhere than him."
Is dos Anjos just talking trash or does he have a point?
He admitted that he is a good fighter, at least:
"Yeah, man, McGregor]’s a good fighter, I’m not saying he’s not a good fighter. He’s a good fighter. I just think I’m on a different level. He has a good counter, he has a good straight left, so I need to watch it. But it’s not anything that I haven’t seen before. I fought Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz is a better boxer than him. Longer, very, very difficult to fight against Nate Diaz, a very tough opponent. Cerrone, he’s a very good Muay Thai guy, very long. Man, I’ve fought better guys before, you know?"
"I will see. If I have an opportunity to finish, I will finish, but I will feel him first. I want to hit him first a couple of times. I want him to feel my power, you know, because his thing is always having such a good time in the Octagon. Everything that he’s predicting has been happening, but I think this time his crystal ball is a little blurry. I think he’s not seeing well, and he’s going to feel the difference. I’m going to show him the bad part of the Octagon. I went through the good part and the bad part, but now I’m going to introduce him to the bad part."
He gave his prediction too, for March 5th when he faces McGregor at UFC 196
"My prediction is, I’m going to win for sure. I don’t see how this guy can beat me. But, a prediction — this fight will not be five rounds. It’s going to be maybe three or two rounds. This guy, he’s not going to be able handle me for more than two rounds. He’s going to break. He’s going to break like a girl."
What do you think?
McGregor or dos Anjos?