Fresh off a quick win over Jose Aldo at UFC 194, Conor McGregor will try to make history on March 5, becoming the first man to hold two UFC belts simultaneously. Dos Anjos, who made quick work of Donald Cerrone in his first title defense in December, just wants to send "The Notorious" back to the featherweight division.
"He always said he was going to beat Aldo and win the lightweight title. My job is to be there and defend my belt," dos Anjos told MMAFighting.com. "I think Aldo deserved an immediate rematch because of how the fight ended and because he was undefeated for 10 years, but (McGregor) wanted to move up and fight me. I will be there to defend my belt and send him back to the featherweight division so Aldo can finish him for good."
Winner of seven UFC fights with six knockouts, McGregor called dos Anjos "just another night of easy work", and the dominant Brazilian plans on proving the Irishman wrong in his first experience in the UFC lightweight division.
"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."
"We all saw what happened to those who talked trash at me," he continued. "I can get in there and be professional, stay cool. This jackass said I’m a traitor to the Brazilian people, but he’s just trying to get some fans there. My walkout song says it all: ‘the shout of a warrior, Brazilian citizen’. If he’s so nationalist, why is he coming to the U.S. to train two months before the fight? Why doesn’t he stay in Ireland? Why are you coming to the U.S.? You work for an American company, man. I’m sure Brazilians are with me, and they want me to shut this guy up."
A black belt in jiu-jitsu, dos Anjos became a knockout artist after moving to California to train with Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA. Almost four years after his last submission victory, a quick first-round rear-naked choke over Kamal Sharolus, the Niteroi-native wants to tap McGregor.
"It’s going to be beautiful," dos Anjos said. "I don’t see this fight going five rounds. I see myself dominating him completely. The way I train, the way I spar, I’m out of my comfort zone every single day, and you can see the result in my fights. I was tested several times, I proved myself. I’ve been through good and bad situations inside the Octagon, and this guy only knows the good part of the game. I will show him the worst side of the game."
"Aldo was going to be the first to show him that, but there was no fight," he added. "I won’t call it luck, but a moment of distraction from Aldo. Maybe he got too emotive and tried to finish it quickly, but I won’t be like that. I will be calm and kick his ass for good. I want to finish him. I want to submit him, actually. Sometimes you knock someone out and the way they go down isn’t nice, but when you submit someone… I want to make him quit, I want him asking me to stop. That’s what I want."
Days after beating Pettis to claim the UFC gold last March, dos Anjos revealed he whispered "the show is over" in Pettis’ ears during the final moments of the fifth round. Ready for another big challenge in McGregor, he already knows what he wants to tell "The Notorious" after the fight.
"Pettis was too cocky in that fight, but McGregor… I would tell him to be humble and go back to his division," said dos Anjos. "It’s tougher at 155."