If we have learned anything about UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor since he burst onto the scene in mixed martial arts, it is that he likes to make predictions and to make them come true.
When the tickets went on sale for UFC 196 — where McGregor will move up a weight class to challenge for the lightweight title — the Irishman was back to his trash-talking ways and was working hard to get under the skin of 155-pound title holder Rafael dos Anjos.
However, it appears that McGregor’s mind games are not working.
At least that’s what the champion says.
In an interview with FOX Sports, dos Anjos said that he is not concerned with what McGregor says because A) he can’t understand him and B) it provides motivation to shut him up when the two come face to face on March 5 in Las Vegas.
“I’m going to tell you the truth — I didn’t understand a word he said that day,” dos Anjos said. “I didn’t understand at all. He has a strong accent and I don’t understand most of the things that he says.
“This guy is going to try to get under my skin, but I have a lot of experience inside of the cage. I’ve been fighting since I was 19 years old. I’m just ready to go there and shut this guy’s mouth.”
McGregor and his coach, John Kavanaugh, have both predicted that dos Anjos will be finished within the first round.
However, once again, dos Anjos does not seem concerned with the comments.
The Brazilian believes in himself and his coaches and believes he will be able to take care of business when the two men finally step into the cage.
“I don’t even care. I don’t know his coach,” dos Anjos said. “I’ve never heard about this guy. I know my coaches. Roberto Gordo is a legend. He created the half-guard. Master Rafael Cordeiro, he’s been in the game for almost 30 years. These guys have been so helpful. I know my coaches.
“I don’t know who this guy is. This guy has no idea what he’s talking about.”
It will be interesting to see how the fight plays out. As long as dos Anjos can avoid allowing McGregor inside of his head, he should have a real chance of keeping his title and bringing the McGregor hype to a standstill.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports