UFC lightweight Renato Moicano has revealed that he told his corner not to stop his UFC 272 co-main event fight against Rafael dos Anjos.
At this month’s pay-per-view, Moicano earned the respect of the masses by going 25 minutes with former champion dos Anjos on just four days’ notice. The Brazilian’s opportunity arose when Rafael Fiziev tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of fight week.
Despite having some luck on the feet, Moicano was ultimately heavily beaten, both on the scorecards and physically. The tole on his body appeared so bad that many, including ‘RDA’ himself, believe the fight shouldn’t have seen the later rounds.
Despite making it to the judges’ scorecards, some believe the decision to allow Moicano to fight beyond the third frame was irresponsible on the part of referee Marc Goddard, the cageside doctor, and the Brazilian’s American Top Team corner.
That sentiment certainly wasn’t shared by Moicano, who suggested the opportunity to continue allowed him to show what he’s made of.
Nevertheless, Moicano admitted he wouldn’t have been annoyed had cornerman Marcos DaMatta thrown in the towel, as color commentator Michael Bisping suggested he should have.
“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 (that) 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. 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.” (h/t BJPenn.com)
Moicano: UFC Turned Down 3-Round Request
With the clash between ‘RDA’ and Fiziev originally being slated for a UFC Fight Night headliner in February, it had been kept as five rounds after being delayed to UFC 272. Despite the late call-up for Moicano, the co-main remained set for 25 minutes.
It turns out that was in spite of a request from Moicano’s team. The Brasilia native confirmed to BJPenn.com that a pursuit of a three-round bout failed during negotiations with the promotion.
“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.”
Having taken the fight with the five-round stipulation attached, Moicano says he knew his conditioning would prove to be an issue if dos Anjos managed to impose a wrestling attack.
Once that happened, Moicano says he anticipated a long night.
“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 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 put a high pace or get takedowns or grapple.
“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.”
Do you think the UFC 272 co-main event should have been stopped?