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UFC’s Hacran Dias considering return to lightweight

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UFN Fight Night 96 Weigh-in Photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO — Hacran Dias is likely done fighting at 145 pounds.

The Nova Uniao talent, who fought seven times as a featherweight under the UFC banner, is considering a return to the lightweight division.

Dias, who competed the majority of his career before signing with the UFC in 2012, entered the promotion with a 20-1-1 record. After joining the UFC, the Rio de Janeiro native went 3-4.

“I'm waiting for my next fight, and thinking if I will be stay in this division or not because I’ve been suffering a lot with the weight cut,” Dias told MMA Fighting. “I'm not recovering well. In my last fight, I had some issues and didn’t make weight. I had a viral infection and missed weight. This weight cut makes me bad. I don’t recover 100 percent and don’t show what I train in the gym.

“I'm talking to ‘Dede' (Nova Uniao coach Andre Pederneiras) and seeing if I can go in a different weight class in my next fight. We’re waiting for the UFC to confirm the date, etc. I’m training, staying ready for whenever the UFC calls.”

Dias defeated the likes of Iuri Alcantara and Darren Elkins in his run as a featherweight in the Octagon, but suffered back-to-back losses to Cub Swanson and Andre Fili in his last bouts.

“I cut 17 kilos (37.5 pounds) to fight at featherweight,” Dias said. “It's not an excuse, they deserved to win, but those who are around me know who I was. ‘Dede' and Marlon (Sandro) asked me not to fight. I was ill before the Cub Swanson fight, I didn’t recover any weight until midnight. I even threw up in front of (Swanson) as soon as I made weight. Same thing for my last fight. It’s not an excuse, it happens. I was not fighting my 100 percent."

The new early weigh-ins policy didn’t help him. In fact, Dias missed weight for the first time in his UFC career last October, against Fili.

“Many fighters are moving up, like Charles Oliveira and Alex ‘Cowboy’. That’s happening to a lot of fighters,” Dias said. "My performance at featherweight wasn’t good. Even in my wins, I didn’t feel that energy. Not that my opponents are much stronger than me. I’m used to training with welterweights in the gym, and they say I’m really strong, but I can’t recover my energy after making weight. I thought about it, and I think I’ll fight in the lightweight division next. I know the lightweights are stronger, but I think I’ll be stronger too and healthier to fight."

Dias currently weighs 178.5 pounds, and is planning on staying that way for his cut to 155 pounds. When he fought at 145 pounds, he usually stayed around 176.3 pounds before starting his weight cut.

“I thought I would be stronger than the other guys in this division,” Dias said of why he decided to go down to 145 pounds in the first place. “The first time, against Iuri, I felt great, but after that it was tough to make the weight. I felt weaker when I reached 76 kilos (167.5 pounds) and had to train. I should have listened to ‘Dede' and didn’t fight these last fights.

“I'm talking a lot to him now, and I will be stronger and will have a better performance in (the lightweight) division."