While there may have been some delays between the initial report and the official announcement, the UFC has now confirmed the super fight we have all been hoping for at March 5’s UFC 197 from Las Vegas.
Newly minted featherweight champion and Irish super star the “Notorious” Conor McGregor will be moving up a weight class to challenge reigning 155 pound kingpin Rafael dos Anjos.
While the two have gone back and forth in the past already stirring up a bit of a rivalry, the “Notorious” one has taken it to new heights with his official fight announcement, dedicating the fight to Brazil, and vowing to “behead” the “traitor” in RDA.
The defending champion’s camp doesn’t seem to be worried about the talk, however, with dos Anjos’ coach, Rafael Cordeiro, recently comparing the situation to a presidential campaign:
“We are going there to present a great fight. We won’t let McGregor do what he wants to us. That won’t faze us. We are used to it. He can say what he wants. When the Octagon door closes, it will be just the two of them. It will be our fight, not his. Inside and out of the Octagon. If Dos Anjos was running for president against him, McGregor would win the debates, but punching and kicking wins fights, so I’m relaxed.” Cordeiro recently told Combate.
Seemingly pushing the talk to the side, the King’s MMA head coach simply feels as if his fighter is more superior in terms of skill. Team dos Anjos appears to be more than content with the matchup, as Cordeiro added that they will be well-prepared come fight night:
“We were really happy we got the chance to prove Rafael is the fighter in the division. We embrace the opportunity with the same determination we embrace all of them. Our focus and goal is to put on a great show again. He is just another opponent. McGregor is karate based, but we have many of those in our gym. A lot of great guys from kyokushin karate. We have a guy from Armenia and another one from Pakistan. We have Lyoto and Chinzo Machida. A great team to deal with McGregor’s stance. The most important thing is that Rafael needs to show who is the champion. It’s MMA, you can end up on the bottom or on top, the fight can go anywhere. Rafael is a pressure fighter so he feels comfortable anywhere. When he sees an opportunity to impose his game, he takes it.”
Well, the stars have aligned for mixed martial arts madness, as two of the sport’s best are set to do battle.
Champion versus champion. Who are you picking?