Renato Moicano is proud of how he responded to adversity against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 272.
After Moicano submitted Alexander Hernandez at UFC 271, he called out Bobby Green for a fight. However, when Rafael Fiziev was forced out of his slated UFC 272 bout due to COVID-19, Moicano threw his name into the hat.
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“My manager called me and said they are looking for a replacement and asked if I was in. I told him I was 180lbs so I didn’t think I’d be able to make the weight,” Moicano said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “He said he would throw my name in the hat but ask for a catchweight. I went back to the pool and I got the call that RDA accepted the fight, 160lbs. We did a lot of stuff, like COVID tests and all that stuff, and Wednesday afternoon I got into Vegas to fight on Saturday.”
During the negotiations, Moicano and his manager asked for the fight to be three rounds because of the short notice. However, the UFC said the fight had to be five rounds and even with that the Brazilian took it.
Moicano knew his cardio would be a concern, as well as after having a tough weight cut. Yet, Moicano said he needed to take the fight as this was his chance to get into the top-10 at lightweight.
“I asked for it to be three rounds and that’s what we wanted but at the end of the day, I knew they wanted it to be five rounds,” Moicano said. “With that, I was willing to take the chance because he is a big name, a former champion, and a top contender…
“I was a little bit worried as I knew I couldn’t wrestle as going into the fight, I was focused on striking all five rounds as I didn’t have the energy to take him down,” Moicano later added about his cardio. “If I missed a shot, I would be exhausted. I did what I could with what I had. It was a mental game for me as I knew I couldn’t out a high pace or get takedowns or grapple.”
With Renato Moicnao knowing he didn’t have the cardio to wrestle and grapple as he wanted, the plan was to strike. Yet, Rafael dos Anjos got an early takedown and once that happened, the Brazilian knew it would be a long night.
“After he got the first takedown, I thought man this is going to be a long night,” Moicano said. “In the back of my head, I thought he would shoot for the takedown but I didn’t know for sure. When I hit him and he took me down, I thought this would be hard because I didn’t have enough training to prepare for his wrestling.”
Throughout the fight, dos Anjos was having his way with Moicano and was beating him up badly. Many, including Michael Bisping on commentary, said the fight should’ve been stopped.
Yet, Moicano disagrees with that as he says in his performance as his fifth round was the best. Along with that, he says he told his corner he was still in the fight which is why they never stopped it but admits if they stopped it he wouldn’t be mad at them as they are doing what they think is best for him.
“No, not at all. The fifth round was my best round because I was already tired and the ref asked me if the fight kept going like that he would stop it,” Moicano explained. “I knew I had to give everything I had and gave all my energy to knock him out and I showed a lot of heart. They could not take this from me. It was good for me because I took the fight on such short notice if they stopped it I would’ve been really upset…
“The cornerman has to know their fighters and the corner asked me if I was in the fight, and I said yes, I still wanted to fight,” Moicano concluded. “They told me to go out there and try to win and that is what I did. If I said I wasn’t ready or I’m done he would’ve stopped it but I told him I’m still in the fight. But, if he decided to throw the towel, I’m not going to be mad because he cares about me.”
What do you make of Renato Moicano’s performance against Rafael dos Anjos?