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Rafael dos Anjos cut people out of his life after losing UFC belt

Winning a UFC belt brings a lot of benefits to your career and personal life, but can also attract new "friends" that aren’t really there for you. Rafael dos Anjos lost the UFC lightweight championship to Eddie Alvarez in July, and felt that some of the people around him didn’t really care that much about him.

Dos Anjos was riding a five-fight winning streak coming into his title defense against Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 90 in Las Vegas, and suffering his first defeat since winning the belt in March of 2015 changed the way he saw some of those people.

"I learned a lot of things, man," dos Anjos told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. "For an example, how people treat you, you know? It was a big lesson for us, especially the way (the fight) went. People treat you one way when you’re champion, but when you’re not the champion everything changes. People treat you different.

"But that was good to know how people really think, so we can start make adjustments and make some cuts on the near future. Once I (become) champion again, for sure these people will not be on my side."

And that was not the only change dos Anjos made in his life after losing the belt. The Brazilian lightweight, who hasn’t even watched his loss to Alvarez ("Only highlights," he explained), stopped worrying about social media.

"I think social media is good for promotion, stuff like that, but people are so negative," he said. "People are too negative. If you read the comments, it’s just too negative. People just think so bad, but I prefer to stay away of this."

Dos Anjos hoped for an immediate rematch with Alvarez after going on a 10-1 run between 2012 and 2015, but the promotion opted to give match him up against rising lightweight Tony Ferguson in Mexico City on Nov. 5. And despite losing his belt to Alvarez via first-round knockout, dos Anjos still believes he’s the best lightweight in the UFC.

"I had a bad night of work," he said. "I think just that. When you’re a fighter and you’re not doing good in your work, that happens, you lost the fight. I think Eddie had a great day, I had a bad day, but I’m sure I’m the best fighter in this division and I will prove it once again. I’m still hungry, I just got caught. My guard was up, my hands were up. I just got caught."

Dos Anjos vows to "push the pace" and end Ferguson’s eight-fight winning streak at UFC Fight Night 98. He hoeps that’s enough to put him back into title contention.

"That’s the guy that I’m gonna beat," dos Anjos said, "and then I’m gonna fight for the title again."

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