Conor McGregor is moving up a weight class to get a shot at the UFC lightweight crown held by Rafael dos Anjos, and let’s just say he’s pretty confident – does that really surprise you, though? No, of course it doesn’t. Conor McGregor is always highly confident, probably borderline arrogant. He’s the featherweight champion, he took Jose Aldo out in 13 seconds, and he’s talented.
But now he’s moving up to face a different kind of challenge: Rafael dos Anjos.
McGregor is already making bold predictions about the outcome of UFC 196. In a release by MMAfighting.com, he thinks he will defeat Rafael inside one minute.
“I believe I will dust Rafael inside one minute. He is a slower, sloppier version of Aldo. He’s like a bum version of Aldo. I believe in absolutely everything. I believe that inside one minute, I will dust him.”
Oh, Conor. If there’s one thing he’s known for it’s his ability to talk as much smack as possible leading up to a fight. It does create a lot of hype though, doesn’t it?
Originally, a few respectable UFC names (ahem, Dana White) actually thought Conor McGregor could defy the odds and take the belt from dos Anjos. Now, White is singing a different tune. He can’t see McGregor overcoming RDA. So which is it?
Dana White has a point. It is difficult to imagine McGregor taking down RDA for a few reasons. McGregor is moving up a weight – about 10 pounds heavier. RDA owns this class. He has only lost once since 2011. He is known for taking guys down in record time. He took down Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone via TKO in the first round. Frankly, he’s an animal.
Even UFC bantamweight contender Urijah Faber has warned McGregor that he could be in for a “bad day” when he faces Rafael dos Anjos. Jon Jones has also hopped on the dos Anjos train saying if he had to put his money on it, he’d have to go with RDA.
RDA has superior grappling skills and solid punching power. Size is nothing but a number as he has taken out far taller men with a larger reach than McGregor. He makes fights competitive, and this one will be no different.
RDA is currently the betting favorite, and many think McGregor’s hype train will crash. Is it possible this could be a fight similar to UFC 194? That’s debatable. Although, many UFC fans thought there was no way Aldo, who had dominated the featherweight division and was unbeaten since 2005, could lose to McGregor. But he did.
I don’t really see that happening this time around with RDA, but then again, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves – after all, we are talking about “The Notorious.” McGregor is smart, quick and adapts well to various styles of fighting. Even with RDA’s impeccable talent and precision, we know McGregor will be ready for whatever he throws at him. And for that reason, it could end up being an insane fight (we hope!).
A victory for McGregor would make him the first fighter to hold two UFC championship belts at the same time. Then, he will probably move on to UFC 200 in July to face Frankie Edgar. A loss wouldn’t really do any damage; he would still sit pretty with his featherweight belt and plenty of money.
So let’s get to it. What is our prediction?
Rafael dos Anjos wins by decision.
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