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Rafael Alves explains tragic circumstances that led to weight miss at UFC Vegas 19

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Rafael Alves makes his UFC debut against Damir Ismagulov at Saturday night's UFC Vegas 27.
Chris Unger, Zuffa LLC

Rafael Alves missed weight by 11.5 pounds for a UFC Vegas 19 bout with Pat Sabatini in February, and the explanation is not the same he gave the media back in February.

Moments after the official weigh-ins in Las Vegas, Alves told MMA Fighting he had food poisoning after eating salmon during fight week. Three months later, now scheduled to fight Damir Ismagulov in a lightweight bout at Saturday’s UFC Vegas 27, the Brazilian has decided to open up.

“I don’t like to talk too much about my personal life, about what happened,” Alves said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I talked about the salmon back then, but that was just me saying anything about my weight miss. What really happened was, on the day of the weigh-ins, when I was almost on weight, I decided not to fight because I was frustrated my wife had suffered a miscarriage.”

Alves said his wife was on the fourth month of their pregnancy and actually hid from him that she had suffered a miscarriage. His sister ended up telling him the news on Friday morning.

“She was pregnant and ended losing our son, and that motivated me not to fight anymore,” Alves said. “So I ended up gaining weight just so I couldn’t fight. That’s what happened.”

Alves, who signed with the UFC after finishing Alejandro Flores at Dana White’s Contender Series in August 2020, realized he simply wouldn’t perform well less than 48 hours after finding out that tragic news.

“The Turn” said the UFC was aware of his situation, and it was the reason why he wasn’t cut after such massive weight miss.

“When my manager spoke with Dana White he spoke super well [about me], said he wouldn’t let me go from the UFC because I proved myself twice to him, [and] I showed I deserved to be in the UFC,” Alves said. “And [he said] he wouldn’t criticize me because only we know what we go through. Many people don’t know and talk crap, but I don’t care about it. God knows it all.”

Alves’ wife has recovered well from the miscarriage, he said, and now he’s focused on scoring a big win in his UFC debut at the UFC APEX on Saturday.

“I’m focused and ready for this war,” Alves said. “God has great things for me. I believe Him 100 percent and we’ll go there put on a show for the whole world and bring this victory to Brazil and Belem.”