Earlier this year, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos announced his plans to abandon the 155-pound lightweight division he had called home for so long in favor of the 170-pound welterweight division. Though this plan seemed to be motivated in part by his consecutive lightweight losses to Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson, he made it clear the real reason for this change of scenery was a brutal and exhausting cut to the lightweight division’s 155-pound cap. On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Dos Anjos provided some context as to just how big he gets between fights, which in turn gives an idea of how much weight he has to cut to make lightweight.
“195,” HE SAID, WHEN ASKED BY ARIEL HELWANI HOW MUCH HE WEIGHS CURRENTLY. APPARENTLY, HOWEVER, THIS RATHER BULKY AMOUNT IS NOT DUE TO HIS LOOMING WELTERWEIGHT DEBUT. INSTEAD, THIS IS PRETTY STANDARD FOR HIM BETWEEN FIGHTS. “USUALLY [THIS IS WHERE I START],” HE SAID. “USUALLY I GET [UP TO] 200 POUNDS, BUT I’VE BEEN TRAINING FOR OVER A MONTH. ACTUALLY, I DON’T STOP TRAINING. I’M ALWAYS TRAINING. BUT AS I TRAINED, I HAD TO DIET REALLY HARD, BECAUSE AS MUCH AS I TRAINED, MY BODY WOULD HOLD MORE WATER. EVERYTHING THAT I ATE, MY BODY KEPT. THAT’S WHY I DECIDED TO GO UP A WEIGHT [CLASS]. MY BODY HOLDS TOO MUCH WEIGHT.”
Dos Anjos then explained that, while this is his UFC welterweight debut, he has fought in the weight class before. In fact, he even took a fight at middleweight for $100 in the early days of his career.
“I FOUGHT I THINK THREE OR FOUR TIMES [AT WELTERWEIGHT],” HE SAID. “AT THE BEGINNING OF MY CAREER, I HAD A 185 [POUND] FIGHT.”“THAT WAS TOO CRAZY,” HE CONTINUED. “I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO CUT WEIGHT OR ANYTHING, AND THEN I GOT A WEEK-NOTICE FIGHT, AND I SAID ‘OK, $100, LET’S TAKE IT.”“THIS WAS A LONG TIME AGO. THAT WAS LIKE PROBABLY 12 YEARS AGO.”
Rafael Dos Anjos’ UFC welterweight debut will occur at UFC Fight Night 111, this June 17 in Singapore. His opponent will be former Strikeforce champ Tarec Saffiedine.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 4/24/2017.