Warlley Alves called out “bad example” Nate Diaz after his most recent UFC victory to prove that “winners no use drugs.” He still wants to fight the “marijuana guy,” but won’t waste any more precious mic time after UFC Vegas 30.
Alves believed in his heart that he would land a fight with Diaz after a vicious win over Mounir Lazzez in Abu Dhabi, but the Stockton star—one of the most popular fighters on the UFC roster—ended up facing Leon Edwards instead.
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil winner faces short-notice replacement Jeremiah Wells at Saturday night’s UFC Vegas 30, stepping in for Ramazan Emeev, and explains why he changed his mind about post-fight callouts.
“I had another perspective. I really saw Nate’s hype now,” Alves said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I want to fight him, I do. I love fighting, slugging it out, but calling him out will have no effect. I have to put me in my place as well. It’s not that it was nonsense, I think the moment was opportune and I would really do it again at that moment, things happened that week that were relevant for this, the ‘marijuana guy.’
“I know this is something for five or six fights down the line, when my hype is absurd, but it’s not a fight that definitely gives me a shot at the belt. It’s a money fight, he’s not even in the top 15. His thing is to fight for money, he has no aspirations to become a champion. His thing is to fight for money and blow it all on weed [laughs]. I can’t [chase] that hype, I have to go after the belt, which is my life’s dream.
“I respect that both [Diaz brothers] are fighters. They fight. If they have to fight without even training, they will. They go for it. And everyone is in this boxing hype, right, brother? I see Nick is also teasing it. Everybody wants to beat Logan Paul and make millions while I’m focused on my path to become UFC champion. That’s more important to me.”
Alves must win this Saturday to move one step closer to his goal, and doesn’t mind facing “a completely different fighting style” in Wells compared to his original opponent. The fact Alves is coming off of a knockout win over Lazzez this past January won’t make a difference for him, though.
“Honestly, brother, I’ve learned something with life: Mounir Lazzez is in the past, like every other win and loss,” Alves said. “I can’t stay attached to positive results from the past, I have to go for more, otherwise we get too comfortable and freak out. I literally want this victory and will give my life for it, I’ll do whatever it takes.
“No one comes for you when you lose. Everybody loses your phone number or stops talking to you when you lose. People ignore you, your hype goes down. People ask for interviews all the time when you’re on a winning streak, they want to sponsor you, invite you to events. I’ve learned that I can’t let those good moments affect me. I plan on getting 10, 15 wins in a row to get to the belt. This is my dream, this is my goal. I have to work hard because that’s the only way I’ll get there.”