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Unimpressed with 'Irish amateur belts,' Rafael dos Anjos says Conor McGregor is 'out of his mind'

UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor looks to make history on March 5, but Rafael dos Anjos won't make it easy.

McGregor moves up a weight class to challenge the lightweight champ at UFC 197 in Las Vegas, Nevada. If he can beat Dos Anjos, McGregor would be the first UFC champ to simultaneously hold a pair of title belts in the promotion.

McGregor held the same honor in his native Ireland when he held titles at 145 and 155 pounds for Cage Warriors, but Dos Anjos isn't impressed.

"UFC lightweight division isn't the belt he got in Ireland when he fought a guy with a record of 2-7," Dos Anjos told "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.

"Lightweight division is a different story. 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."

A number of lightweights have chirped at McGregor, but the allure of breaking more ground in the UFC was too much for McGregor to pass up.

"He doesn't have anything to lose," said Dos Anjos. "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."

McGregor didn't waste much time rolling out his trademark trash talk. As soon as the fight was announced McGregor posted a message calling Dos Anjos a "traitor" to Brazil and the Irishman vowed to "behead the 'American Gringo' in the name of La Brasilia."

Dos Anjos moved his family from Rio de Janeiro in 2012 and trains full-time at Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, CA with famed trainer Rafael Cordeiro. Dos Anjos believes Aldo fell prey to McGregor's talk, but insists he'll walk into the Octagon with "cold blood."

"It doesn't make any sense," Dos Anjos said of McGregor's comments. "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."

Dos Anjos defends his lightweight title to McGregor March 5 in the main event at UFC 197 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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