ByElias Cepeda, writer at
Elias Cepeda

So, we know that former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos is moving up to welterweight. Here's why:

"It was tough to make weight against [Donald] Cerrone, and I passed out three times making weight for the Eddie Alvarez fight. One day you get to the limit.” RDA recently told Guilherme Cruz over at

“My body changed between 2014 and 2015. I fought five times in 11 months, during that run for the title...I see Cerrone doing this, but I don’t see other doing this. I walk around with 187, 198 pounds, easy, and to cut this weight five times in eleven months was too much."

Dropping as much weight as it takes for Dos Anjos to compete as a lightweight took a toll on his body. After years of that, and without a title shot on the horizon, the Brazilian concluded that he simply doesn't get paid enough by the UFC to continue to punish his kidneys and the rest of his body so much extra by cutting weight.

“I have 27 fights in this division. When I was 16 years old, I weighed 176 pounds. It’s just too much for me. I already got the belt. And for [the money] I’m making now, it’s not worth it," he reasoned.

“What made me move up to welterweight was all the effort I was doing, to look at my health and have a good life...I wanted to stop sacrificing so much. For how much I was making, it’s not worth doing all this effort and destroy my body.”

Dos Anjos will be a relatively small welterweight, but the black belt is confident that he can still do well against bigger men. If they're relying on weight advantages, Dos Anjos said he'll benefit from an energy surplus after no longer having to cut so much weight.

"The other guys are bigger and stronger, for sure, but I’m used to training with guys that big," he concluded.

"I also think that they are big, but they cut weight. They will go through something I won’t. I’ll have to cut weight for 170, but I’ll cut less. I fought well at 155, but I don’t think I ever came close to my best at 155. I think I’ll get to my best at 170 pounds.”


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