Coach: Rafael dos Anjos wants to break Conor McGregor’s soul, welcome him to lightweight “in a brutal way”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

UFC San Antonio

Though the UFC has yet to confirm reports of a UFC Lightweight Championship fight at UFC 197 between Rafael dos Anjos and UFC Featherweight Champ Conor McGregor, dos Anjos’ coach says they’re already signed on for the fight, and dos Anjos is very much happy with the matchup.

In an interview with, Kings MMA’s Rafael Cordeiro discussed the matchup, and said the Brazilian Champion is looking forward to taking McGregor out in violent fashion.

“We didn’t receive an official 100 percent confirmation from the UFC, but that’s something we’re waiting on,” said Cordeiro. “From our part, it’s already signed. It’s important to make it clear that this was a request from McGregor. Rafael is really happy to ‘welcome’ him in a brutal way to the lightweight division.

“It’s a fighter that we truly believe we can beat. He’s coming from a lower division, and he can be sure that he’ll face a strong champion who will not change his style. McGregor has already proven to be a great athlete, but we have five rounds to beat him and Rafael is coming in hungry to beat him, not only physically but spiritually, and to break his soul inside the Octagon. I bet Rafael will finish him in a brutal way, the same way he has finished his last fights.”

The fight is reportedly coming at UFC 197 on March 5 in Las Vegas, with a Women’s Bantamweight Championship bout between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate expected for the co-main event.

Penick’s Analysis: For as much as Frankie Edgar is a serious test for McGregor – and he is, without question, an extremely dangerous stylistic matchup for the Irishman – dos Anjos’ recent string of performances suggests he may be just as dangerous if not more for McGregor. The way that he’s dominated several very good fighters is something in his game he’s improved immensely, and he’s got such a size edge in that regard on McGregor that the Irishman could be in trouble if he gets taken down. Considering what Chad Mendes was able to do with a short amount of time on top, dos Anjos can do significantly more damage. That McGregor asked for it is a testament to him, and we’ll find out on March 5 whether or not he comes to regret that request.

[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]

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