After back-to-back losses to Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson, former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos has announced his intention to move to the 170-pound welterweight division. The former champ made this announcement on Twitter earlier this week.
I reached the top of LW,it's been a hard journey make weight every time,now I want to fight at my best,I have new goals, I'm moving to WW
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 6, 2017
Though his current losing streak surely has something to do with his choice to move up a weight class, Dos Anjos explained that the main reason for this planned shift is the difficulty he has making the lightweight division’s 155-pound limit. He explained this difficulty in an interview with MMAFighting.com.
“When I was 16 years old, I weighed 176 pounds,” he said. “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. One day, if there’s a superfight or something that gives me good money, I can make this sacrifice and go back to 155 again, but not now.”
“My body changed between 2014 and 2015,” he continued. “I fought five times in 11 months, during that run for the title. I don’t see anyone doing this. I see [Donald] Cerrone doing this, but I don’t see other doing this. I walk around with 187, 188 pounds, easy, and to cut this weight five times in 11 months was too much.”
“I eat well, but after that I felt that my body got bigger. I was holding the weight more. It was tough to make weight against Cerrone, and I passed out three times making weight for the Eddie Alvarez fight. One day you get to the limit.”
Dos Anjos also touched on how he thinks he’ll fair against the bigger, stronger men of the welterweight division.
“I don’t think 15 pounds will make such a big difference,” he said. “The other guys are bigger and stronger, for sure, but I’m used to training with guys that big. 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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