Rafael dos Anjos is the lightweight champ, and he got to that position by snuffing out all who stood before him, so of course he’s got a decent amount of confidence. But, as we know, all the confidence in the world doesn’t mean a damn thing when it comes to facing the likes of Irish superstar and featherweight god Conor McGregor. After all, Jose Aldo was confident he could handle McGregor, and the dude only lasted 13 seconds.
So it should come as some comfort that, at yesterday’s UFC 197 press conference in Las Vegas, N.V., Dos Anjos did seem to feel good about his chances in his impending bout with perhaps the greatest trash-talker the sport has ever seen.
As per MMAFighting:
“I’ve fought the best lightweights in the world, and he’s a featherweight,” said dos Anjos. “He’s a good fighter, but I’ve fought better fighters. I just fought Cerrone, who is almost twice his size. People say McGregor is tall and all that. He’s as tall as I am, or maybe even shorter. He might have a longer reach, but I’ve fought Nate Diaz and Cerrone, who had reach advantage, and fought Anthony Pettis and Ben Henderson. I was tested against the best.
“The most complicated part of all this will be control myself so I don’t put my hands on this lunatic before the fight, but I will hold on, be cool, and beat him up on March 5. It’s going to be beautiful. He has some qualities, but I’ve fought better fighters.”
Except for the Chad Mendes fight at UFC 189, no one was able to put McGregor in danger inside the Octagon. According to dos Anjos, “The Notorious” will realize he’s in a different world when he steps in there with a 155-pounder.
“I won’t let him move,” said the Brazilian. “I think the only guy he’s faced so far that could make him feel that was Aldo, with his hard punches and kicks, but there was no fight. There was no fight. Against me, when the fight starts, it’s going to be different. I’m a lightweight, it’s completely different. This guy said he can beat Jesus, and I will show him what a man of God can do on March 5. I’m going to teach him this lesson.”
From his words, it would seem the crux of Dos Anjos’ confidence comes from the fact that he’s a lightweight and McGregor is a featherweight, so size would be on his size.
We’ll know soon enough if size really matters.