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Reborn as a welterweight, Rafael dos Anjos isn’t necessarily looking to be the poster boy for the importance of fighting closer to your natural weight. Instead, the former UFC 155-pound champion is simply happy to enjoy the fringe benefits of his move 15 pounds north.
“I can enjoy eating now that I’m a welterweight,” Dos Anjos said. “I can live. I can eat normal. I don’t have to have that feeling after having my meal of still being hungry. Now, if I feel hungry, I can eat again if I want.”
Dos Anjos (27-9), who could find himself on the doorstep of a welterweight title shot should he get past former champion Robbie Lawler (28-11) in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card in Winnipeg (8 p.m. ET, FOX), knows better than anyone just how dangerous dramatic weight cutting can be.
Before his 2014 victory over Benson Henderson, dos Anjos was forced to shed 23 pounds in just three days to make the lightweight limit. In July 2016, the day before losing his UFC title to Eddie Alvarez via first-round TKO, dos Anjos fainted while sitting in a hot tub trying to melt off the final pounds.
“Before, 70 to 80 percent of my camp was focused on losing weight and being stressed out about making weight,” dos Anjos said. “Now, I still have to cut some weight, but it’s way easier. I can have a normal life, I can enjoy my life and my training and put 100 percent of the work into my technique and training and not just losing weight and being stressed out. It’s been a very good moment for me. I’ve been around for so long, but I’ve never been as happy as I am now.”