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Warlley Alves figured he'd be fighting Sage Northcutt soon, but Bryan Barberena got there first

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Talking trash, asking for big fights, and being an undefeated prospect can quickly turn you into a rising star in the UFC. Warlley Alves has a perfect record, 4-0 in the UFC and 10-0 overall, but refuses to talk his way up.

Alves, the winner of the third edition of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, has submitted three of the four opponents he’s faced so far inside the Octagon. The X-Gym prospect realizes that being more vocal can bring benefits to his career, but chooses to impress only when he’s locked inside the Octagon with another welterweight.

"Money is good, if that’s what you’re asking, but my mother raised me a man, not a whore," Alves told MMAFighting.com during a recent media scrum in Rio de Janeiro. "I won’t sell myself. I am who I am, I am who you see. That’s my way of living.

"Money is good and I want it, I want to make what those guys make, like three or four million. That’s cool, but I’m not here for the money but to fight hard and show I’m the best. I want money, of course I do. I want to have something for the three kids I plan on having one day. I want a lot of money, but it’s not the most important to me."

After winning the TUF: Brazil 3 season in 2014, Alves predicted he would be fighting for the UFC welterweight championship in "five or six years". Almost two years have passed since his first interview as a TUF winner, and he still maintains he’s not in a hurry.

"My division is the toughest one, and it would be unfair to try to talk my way up," he said. "I’m not a trash talker. My lifestyle is different than these other guys’. I want to work. When I left The Ultimate Fighter, I had this focus to get more experience. I want to test myself the best way possible.

"I’ve fought strikers, grapplers, wrestlers. I want to become solid so no one takes the belt away from me when I win it. When I get that belt, it’s mine. It doesn’t matter in five years, five months or five days, the time will come when the time is right. I think maybe this fight or one more, and then I’m getting someone from the top 10. I’m doing my best. Top 10 or top one, I just want to stay undefeated, and no one will take this away from me."

Coming off a quick finish over Colby Covington in December, Alves returns at UFC 198 against Bryan Barberena, who made a name for himself after beating rising star Sage Northcutt.

"I have a philosophy that my focus and will to win is the same if I’m fighting a five-year old or the baddest heavyweight on the planet," said the Brazilian. "What’s at stake here isn’t just another victory, but my life and my legacy. I want to prove that it’s possible. That’s my motto. I know I will fulfill my dreams with the help of God."

Alves thought his path would cross Northcutt’s one day, but Barberena got there first and derailed his rise.

"I actually thought I would be fighting Sage Northcutt soon, that they could match us up in the future, but since he beat Sage, that’s it," Alves said. "He only had eight days to prepare for that fight so I’m not considering it that much. I’m looking at the fights he was trained. He had eight days and wasn’t at his best, but caught Sage with an arm-triangle choke. I’m prepared for anything he brings. He’s fighting the best Warlley.

"He can take a beating," Alves added of Barberena. "He can take a punch and a kick, he was never knocked out in his career, but I’m going with everything I have to try to knock him out. He goes for takedowns in his fights and I’m prepared for every situation, but I think the fight stays standing. I don’t care if I’m fighting A, B, C, or Sage. I’m working hard to get where I want. No matter who I’m facing, a UFC veteran or a newcomer, I will still steamroll him."