Last September, Felipe Arantes was set to face Luke Sanders at UFC Pittsburgh, but the bout was scratched only days before the event due to Arantes having complications with his weight cut. A month later, “Sertanejo” fought at featherweight as a penalty for his inability to reach 135 pounds and was promptly defeated by a noticeably larger Josh Emmett. Now, Arantes wants to go back to where he feels he belongs.
“It was a personal mistake of mine”, Arantes told AG. Fight regarding his failed weight cut in September. “I didn’t follow the diet I always followed, I wanted to make the weight ahead of time. I wanted to arrive in the US already very close to the weight […]. And I started cutting with salt long before the usual time and I got dehydrated very early, long before the fight. It released all the salt from my body and I ended up missing salt and magnesium. That’s when I started feeling bad and the UFC chose not to let me fight because of the state I was in. It was a personal mistake, it was not a doctor’s mistake or anything like that. It was my mistake, my stupidity, which I hope I won’t commit again. Next time, I’m going to follow [my protocols] better.”
Arantes is hoping that the opportunity to do better will come back at the weight class he’s been fighting in since 2015. After all, adding weight to compete at 145 pounds would only mean that he’d have to lose those pounds again before stepping on the scale.
“I sent an e-mail to Sean Shelby explaining what had happened, explaining that it was my mistake. I’ve already fought at bantamweight and managed to get to the weight with only as much struggle as necessary, because we always suffer a little bit [when cutting weight]. My natural weight is bantamweight, there is no way I belong at 145 pounds. If I were to fight at featherweight, I’d have to put in a lot of work to gain weight [before my next fight] and then also to get it back down for the weigh-ins to be as strong as my opponents. And I hope they understand that.”
However, while struggling to stay in his weight class, Arantes also needs to worry about getting back to his winning ways. Coming off two straight defeats in the UFC, the 29-year-old has now acumulated five wins, five losses and one draw inside the Octagon. His less-than-perfect record doesn’t bother “Sertanejo”, though.
“I don’t care much about this, no”, Arantes said. “What’s supposed to happen will happen. I have my gym, I have other things in my life than fighting […]. I’m training the way I’ve always been training and if the UFC thinks I should continue [fighting for them], then great. But if not, I’ll go forward as well.”
“We’re just waiting for the UFC’s approval to see if I can move back down [to bantamweight], and I don’t think they’re going to cut me. There were cuts recently, and I wasn’t on the list. So, I think I’m going to get one more chance, and if I do get one, I’ll train the way I’ve always trained and I’ll try to get back on track.”