Out of all the UFC fighters on the roster, Conor McGregor probably had the best year back in 2015. His epic rise to stardom began when he defeated Chad Mendes to become the UFC featherweight interim champion. He followed-up with the biggest feat of his career by defeating José Aldo (in 13 seconds, no less, with the only punch he threw) to become the undisputed UFC featherweight champion. Summarized, “The Notorious” one is sitting on top of the MMA Empire.
Now it seems that Conor McGregor will also have a phenomenal 2016 if certain MMA news about UFC 197, spreading like wildfire, becomes official. Once official, McGregor has the chance to take on Rafael dos Anjos and win the UFC lightweight championship. If McGregor proves successful, he will become the promotion’s first double champion in two divisions.
The question is what Rafael dos Anjos thinks about the situation. Apparently, he is more than happy to accept the challenge. If official, dos Anjos made it clear he wants to break McGregor’s “soul” at UFC 197.
Rafael dos Anjos’ words were actually made through his coach for his Kings MMA camp, Rafael Cordeiro. According to Sherdog, Cordeiro confirmed with them that dos Anjos will indeed defend his belt against UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor in the main event at UFC 197 (which will most-likely be titled UFC 197: dos Anjos vs. McGregor) on March 5, 2016, at the Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We didn’t receive an official 100 percent confirmation from the UFC, but that’s something we’re waiting on. 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.”
Apparently, Rafael dos Anjos will not alter his approach whatsoever when going after Conor McGregor. This is because he, along with his camp, are so confident dos Anjos will defeat McGregor with ease.
“It’s a fighter that we truly believe we can beat. 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.”
Those are some intense words coming from Rafael dos Anjos’ coach. Yet, one must question if such words hold any weight. It must be noted dos Anjos is going against a man who gave José Aldo his first loss within a decade, his second loss throughout his career. The fact of the matter is such words do hold weight. Numerous fans and reporters, especially Jamie Penick of MMA Torch, can not deny that dos Anjos dominated his last five fights, some of them being against several great fighters in the UFC lightweight division. His last two fights were against Anthony Pettis, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the division, and Donald Cerrone, a MMA fighter who holds 15 post-fight bonuses, a record for in UFC and WEC history.
Ultimately, Rafael dos Anjos will be a viable threat to Conor McGregor. But to be fair, McGregor has said everyone he fights is a threat to him. By the way dos Anjos is trash talking for this upcoming fight, he may not be taking McGregor as seriously as he should. That may be his Achilles’ heel, one in which he may find himself without a title after UFC 197.
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