Diego Brandao on Conor McGregor: 'I know that deep in there he respects me'

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

UFC featherweight Diego Brandao discussed his upcoming main event match-up against Conor McGregor, as well as his opinion on the Irishman's cocky attitude.

Diego Brandao may have been called up on short notice to face Irish-born Conor McGregor on hostile territory, but he believes he is more than ready for the task at hand.

The Brazilian featherweight was revealed as the replacement for Cole Miller, who was forced to withdraw from the main event contest against McGregor in Dublin. While the grudge match aspect of the McGregor-Miller rivalry was entertaining, Brandao is certain that the new main event will also be a compelling match-up.

"It's going to be a really interesting fight," Brandao told MMAFighting.com's Guilherme Cruz. "He likes to fight standing and so do I, so we're going at it. It's going to be a great show for the UFC fans. I'm going to Ireland to beat him. I will do my job in there. If the win comes in the first round or the last round it's okay, what really matters is that it comes."

Brandao may have had his trouble with McGregor in the past, but he has no intention of proving anything in Ireland except that he deserves to be in the main event. The rest is all a matter of promotion.

"It's part of the promotion," he said. "The more you sell and get attention to your fight the better. We had our issues in the past, but I'm not in the mood to talk at all. If he wants to talk, I won't care. I know that deep in there he respects me. I felt it when we met. I will answer him inside the Octagon. When the door closes, words won't win the fight.

While McGregor has been clamoring for a title shot with a win in Dublin, Brandao has a far more modest about his future ambitions.

"Many people consider me a top 10 fighter already," he said. "I cared about it in the past, but I won't even think about it now. I will go there, beat him and then I'll see where I am in the rankings."

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