Renato Moicano was very close to a featherweight title shot. All he needed to do was defeat former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
Well, as we know, that is a lot easier said than done.
The two met in the co-main event of UFC Fortaleza. Moicano had some success in the first round, however, Aldo came out fast in the second round and put together some crackling combinations that eventually forced the referee to stop the fight.
It was a disappointing loss for Moicano.
“I think it was a good fight. I was doing well in the first round, and maybe I was just too confident,” Moicano said to BJPENN.com. “When I came back for the second round, I was very confident and felt I was going to beat him. I made a mistake and tried a flying knee, and he caught me with a hook. He exploded, but for me the ref stopped it too early. I can’t complain about that because the refs stop fights early now but that is okay.”
Although many believe the ref stopped the fight at a good time, Moicano and his team don’t think so. He assures that he wasn’t hurt.
“When the fight is over, in the moment, I think I’m okay, I don’t feel anything,” he said. “In that moment, there is so much adrenaline. In that moment it is hard to tell how hurt you are. But, after watching the fight, I saw Aldo really caught me with a hook, but I don’t think I was too hurt. I felt it, but not for the ref to stop the fight.”
It was just Moicano’s second loss in the UFC. However, looking back on the fight, he has gained some valuable knowledge to apply to his next fight.
“What surprised me, I don’t want to sound cocky or anything, but what surprised me is how much he respected me,” he said. “In the first round, I saw him react to every movement I do. Every jab, every head movement. He was very cautious to take a risk in the first round against me. I saw he was a little bit scared in the first round.”
Now, Moicano is back in the gym getting better. He already knows when he wants to return and it should come as no surprise.
“I want to return in Curitiba in May for UFC 237,” Moicano said. “That is what I want, we never know what the UFC will do, but hopefully they put me in Curitiba.”
If he does indeed get to fight at UFC 237, Moicano has one name in particular he wants to fight next. It may surprise some given that they fought not too long ago, but Moicano knows he can beat him and wants to run it back.
“I want to fight Frankie Edgar or Brian Ortega. I want to fight the best,” he explained. “What I think is, Ortega and myself are coming off losses. The first time we fought, it was a great fight, so I think it is a good fight to do. If they book a rematch, I will win the rematch this time.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/19/2019.