Rafael dos Anjos is very dismissive of the idea that Conor McGregor’s unique, eclectic style will present him with problems when they meet in Las Vegas on March 5th.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Dos Anjos stated that while he appreciates the Irishman is a “good fighter” with a “good straight-left”, he doesn’t see McGregor presenting any new problems.
“I think think he doesn’t bring anything different to me,” said the Brazilian.“Not anything I didn’t see before. I fought Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz is better boxer than him. Longer, very difficult to fight against – Nate Diaz. A very tough opponent. [Donald]Cerrone is a very Muay Thai guy, very good, very long. Man, I fought better guys before”.
Interestingly, Dos Anjos’ preparation reflects this stance.
The lightweight champion claimed that he hasn’t altered his approach to training ahead of this fight, and has neglected to bring in any new sparring partners capable of mimicking the SBG fighter’s techniques.
“Same recipe. This guy, he doesn’t have anything I have not seen before. He’s just one more guy, nothing different. I didn’t bring in anyone special”.
RDA did say, however, that he has been sparring with teammate and former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, something that may prepare him somewhat for the karate elements that McGregor often utilizes.
“I have been sparring with Lyoto Machida. He is my teammate here. His brother, Chinzo Machida, so we have good karate guys here, man. But I didn’t bring anything special, we have a lot of guys here”.
Dos Anjos’ approach inside the octagon is unlikely to change either, as he feels that he can overcome McGregor’s challenge in a variety of different ways.
Responding to an earlier suggestion by UFC lightweight contender Eddie Alvarez that fighters have been approaching the McGregor question from the wrong angle, the Kings MMA representative played down the importance of tactics. He stated that he was confident of his superiority in every facet of the game.
“I think I can beat this guy anywhere. I think if I fight a jiu-jitsu match with him, I would beat him. If I fight a karate match with him, I would beat him. If I fight a K-1 rules with him, I would beat him. I think I can beat him anywhere. I’m going to do my job. I am going to do what I have been doing all my fights. I am going to break his mind standing. He is going to feel very bad after I hit him hard several times and then maybe, if I feel like it, I might take him down and smash him a little bit on the ground. But I’m not going into this fight thinking ‘oh, I’m not going to stand with Conor'”.
It’s interesting to hear Dos Anjos make such claims. McGregor’s style is nothing like that of Cerrone or Diaz and convincing himself to the contrary is borderline delusional and may prove a big mistake.
UFC 196 is less than a month away.