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Daniel Sarafian admits he was 'scared' over cut to welterweight

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Daniel Sarafian hasn’t fought in seven months, but there’s a reason for that long layoff. The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 1 star decided to cut down to welterweight after a 1-2 run in the UFC, and he needed some time to find out if that was possible.

"We asked Joe Silva for some time after my last fight so I could test a cut to 170," Sarafian told "I did the test, and as soon I realized it was possible, (Silva) started looking for a card and an opponent for me."

Sarafian, who takes on Kiichi Kunimoto at Saturday’s UFC 174 card in Vancouver, Canada, wasn’t confident that he would be able to cut the extra 15 pounds.

"It was not harder than I imagined because I thought I wouldn’t even make it," he said with a laugh. "I was really scared. Am I going to make it? You do all the diet and you don’t even know if it’s possible. Now that I know I can do it, it’s a lot easier."

"I will control my weight so I won’t gain too much weight after the weigh-ins," he continued. "I always weighed around 213 pounds. After I cut down to 170 for the first time, I went back up to 205, but that’s not what I want for this fight. I want to stay around 192 for the fight so I will be faster and lighter.

"I only had like two weeks of diet to fight at 185. I miss that freedom to eat what I want, but I believe that it will change in the future. I will get used to that. My priority is to fight at 170, so I have to be responsible and control my mouth."

Kunimoto made his UFC debut in January, and he was awarded the win after Luiz Dutra was disqualified for illegal elbows to the back of the head. Sarafian doesn’t know much about his opponent, but feels ready for everything he brings.

"I couldn’t find many videos of his fights, but from what I saw he’s the type of fighter that likes to grab you and take you down," he said. "He will feel that need to grab me because I’m going straight forward all the time. I’m ready to stop his takedowns, but if the fight goes to the ground I’m cool because I’m a black belt in jiu-jitsu, and I will be ready to use it against him."

Sarafian wants to keep it standing and make Kunimoto feel "uncomfortable" inside the Octagon, though.

"I’m shorter than him, but I have a good reach, and I know how to use it," the Brazilian said. "I will make him feel uncomfortable standing and frustrated when he tries to take me down. In the best scenario, I will have my hands raised after the fight. I don’t care if the win comes with a submission, knockout or a decision, if it’s an ugly fight or not, what I want is the win."