NITEROI -- In his first interview after the UFC made Rafael dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor official for March 5, the lightweight champion said "the most complicated part of all this will be control myself so I don’t put my hands on this lunatic before the fight." In the first UFC 197 press conference, "The Notorious" showed he’ll do anything to get inside the Brazilian’s head.
From Jesus to "El Chapo" to dos Anjos’ kids and team, McGregor wouldn’t even let dos Anjos answer questions without interrupting, but the lightweight kingpin stayed cool.
"He crosses the line all the time," dos Anjos told the media in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro. "He answered questions the media asked me, talked about my kids, said I’m not a Brazilian. Man, all the time. He said I’m sloppy. He crosses the line all the time.
"He’s here to confuse everyone, give the sport a bad image. He thinks it’s nice to dress up like a drug dealer. I don’t think that’s a nice way to promote a fight. That doesn’t add anything to the sport. Georges St-Pierre always sold well as a champion doing exactly the opposite."
dos Anjos wouldn’t respond to McGregor’s attacks even when he talked about his kids, Gustavo and Rafael Filho, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t bothered by it.
"That bothered me, but I knew he would bring those weapons. I was ready for that," he said. "Talk about my wife, my kids, Jesus, my team. What can I do? He’s a lunatic. I will answer him on March 5. (Fabricio) Werdum called me saying ‘my friend, go get him, throw something at him, a bottle’. But that’s not my style. I will answer him when the time comes. On March 5, I will be the one doing the talk."
Many people believe McGregor was able to get inside the head of his previous opponents, including in his 13-second win over Jose Aldo in December. "The Notorious" is inside dos Anjos’ head already, but he’s not the first to do it.
"Every opponent gets inside my head because I think about them for three of four months," said the Brazilian. "He’s in my head just like every other opponent before. I wake up thinking about him, I go to the gym thinking about him. That’s how he’s in my head. Nate Diaz pushed me at the weigh-in, but I fight ever better when my opponents make it personal. I will dominate him."
"Aldo had to listen to this guy for a long time, and I will only listen for two months," he continued. "I won’t have to see this guy until fight week now. I will dominate him on March 5. I’ll put him back to his place. I think I have the experience. It’s my 20th fight in the UFC. I’m not saying the others weren’t focused, but I will be calm on fight night and use my strategy because I know the victory is mine. I know this guy won’t make history over me. I’m super confident I will beat him up."
McGregor predicted and delivered in almost every UFC fight so far, and said he will "dust" dos Anjos inside one minute.
"His predictions have worked so far, but he only met the good side of the UFC. Everything he planned has worked so far. I’ve seen both the good and bad sides of the UFC," dos Anjos said. "On March 5, I will show him the bad side of the sport. His crystal ball is blurry. He thinks he’s seeing something, but it’s going to be quite the opposite."