RIO DE JANEIRO -- Warlley Alves suffered his first loss as a professional MMA fighter in May, and it hurt.
The Brazilian welterweight prospect, who lost a decision to Bryan Barberena at UFC 198 in Curitiba, is scheduled to return to the cage on Nov. 19 against Kamaru Usman, and not being undefeated anymore as a mixed martial artist changed a few things in him.
"I never dealt well with losses," Alves said during a UFC Fight Night 100 media day in Rio de Janeiro. "I always had a philosophy that a loss is similar to an accident. You leave home for work and get in a car accident or get hit by a car, that’s something you didn’t expect. I didn’t expect losing the way I lost. I wasn’t knocked out or submitted, but Barberena earned it.
"He really defeated me, but that messed a lot with me. That woke up a side of me I didn’t even know I had. I will work hard to make sure something like that never happens in my life anymore."
Right after the UFC 198 fight, Alves underwent surgery to fix a deviated septum, and already felt the difference in training.
"That’s helping me a lot," said the X-Gym welterweight. "I always breathed through my mouth and that wasn’t good. It’s way better now. I didn’t want to be back as soon as possible, but as best as possible. I will do my best in there on Nov. 19. I’m sorry, but ‘Chevrolet’ won’t take this away from me."
Like Alves, Usman -- or "Chevrolet" Kamaru, as Alves jokes -- is a welterweight who impressed on UFC’s reality show The Ultimate Fighter veteran, but the Brazilian is not a fan of his fighting style.
"Kamaru is a very tough opponent. He’s an All-American. (But) his game is different than mine," Alves said. "He likes to grapple all the time. And I’m like this, if you stand in front of me, I’m putting my hands on you. We will brawl. I’m training hard to get this victory."
"I just like to fight hard," he added. "I think it’s unfair with the fans that paid for tickets to go there and watch two people rubbing each other. I’m going to fight. I always say that. People say I’m cocky, but no, I just like to fight. I want to go in there, follow my strategy and put on a show for those watching."