Conor McGregor believes he could beat everyone "in the game" in four months and has vowed to claim three UFC belts in 2016 while speaking at the UFC 197 press conference Wednesday in Las Vegas.
The Notorious is set to face Rafael dos Anjos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5 and said he is going to "behead" the lightweight champion, stating his aim to take him down inside a minute while comparing himself to Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, per MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani:
McGregor says he’s dressed like “El Chapo” in his prime.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 20, 2016
The pair's staredown was an intense precursor to their fight, with the lightweight champion refusing to shake hands with McGregor, per UFC:
Featherweight champion McGregor is moving up to lightweight to fight dos Anjos, having downed Jose Aldo last month, and he is aiming for further division titles this year, per Helwani and BT Sport UFC:
McGregor says, if they got rid of this pre-stuff, he is confident he can beat everyone “in the game” in 4 months.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 20, 2016
The Irishman painted a graphic picture of what he was going to do after he beats the Brazilian in the Octagon, per UFC:
He also described dos Anjos, 31, as a "bum version of Aldo," and earmarked his next outing in the UFC, per Helwani:
McGregor thinks he beats RDA inside 1 minute. “He’s like a bum version of Aldo.” He expects to fight at UFC 200.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 20, 2016
There was little civility from McGregor, unsurprisingly, with the 27-year-old describing his forthcoming opponent as a limping gazelle, "a gringo," and questioning his Brazilian roots, per Helwani:
McGregor calls RDA “a gringo.” He says “we” are sending RDA on a media tour in Brazil and they have to book him a hotel in his hometown.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 20, 2016
McGregor now asking why RDA’s kids names are english names. RDA says ask all Q’s to McGregor since he keeps interrupting.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 20, 2016
It is a bold move for McGregor to shift to lightweight, but his ambitions are clearly loftier than that.
While the pre-fight talk is entertaining, there is little way of knowing how successful the featherweight champion will be at 155 pounds until he steps into the Octagon.
There is still some way to go until McGregor and dos Anjos clash, but the tension is already heating up. It is sure to be a blockbuster occasion.