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UFC’s Warlley Alves explains why he chose not to test the market in long free agency period

Warlley Alves is coming off a knockout win over fellow TUF Brazil alum Sergio Moraes in May.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Warlley Alves signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC almost five months after knocking out Sergio Moraes in the final bout of his previous deal at UFC 237. But a long free agency period wasn’t explored by the Brazilian welterweight.

Alves, winner of the third season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil in 2014, could’ve tested the market and looked for more money elsewhere. But he chose to stay.

“Being UFC champion is my childhood dream, and I’m chasing that,” Alves told MMA Fighting. “There are other promotions that I respect, but I admit that my dream is to become the UFC champion, and I’ll work hard for that.

“The UFC is the biggest promotion in the world, and it’s an honor for me to fight here. My main concern was stay in shape and be ready for whenever the contract got done, so I could fight as quick as possible. That’s what I did. I left my manager Gilberto (Faria) handle this situation, and he got something good for us.”

The first fight of his deal is set for UFC Sao Paulo on Nov. 16, opposite Randy Brown.

Alves won’t get into specifics about how much he’s getting paid now. But he said he’s happy with the numbers in his new deal. That said, Alves thinks that becoming UFC champion is about more than money.

“Money is good and I want that, if that’s the question, but achieving my goal is priceless,” Alves said. “Winning a UFC belt and making a dream come true… That’s one dream I’m chasing.”

Alves inked an eight-fight contract after winning TUF Brazil 3 with a submission finish over Marcio Alexandre Jr. and then he defeated Alan Jouban. He went 5-3 over his next eight bouts, with wins over the likes of Colby Covington and Nordine Taleb and defeats against Kamaru Usman and Bryan Barberena.

The Brazilian is confident that he’ll hold the UFC welterweight gold one day. He sends a message to Covington, the next man to challenge for it.

“I have something personal against Colby,” Alves said. “He can’t erase that loss. He might try some butterfly effect in his head and think that his wins and his evolution as a fighter will erase what happened, but it won’t.

“He knows that if he fights me again he loses. One day he won’t have where to run. Honestly, I don’t think he gets past Usman though.”