Monday, August 15, 2022

Former UFC Headliner Joins The Paddy Pimblett Callout Club

A well-known name in the UFC lightweight division has become the latest man to pitch themselves as a possible next opponent for rising star Paddy Pimblett.

When it comes to surging names on MMA’s biggest stage, not many top the charge of Liverpool’s Pimblett. The charismatic and somewhat controversial former Cage Warriors champion has burst onto the scene in a major way since making his UFC debut last September, both in terms of his in-cage performances and outside ventures.

Most recently, “The Baddy” returned to London for his second fight of the year, both of which came in front of a home crowd. After submitting Rodrigo Vargas in March, Pimblett turned in his best performance under the UFC banner to date on July 23, forcing talented wrestler Jordan Leavitt to tap out inside The O2.

Having extended his unblemished promotional record to 3-0, Pimblett is a wanted man in the division, with many looking to blemish his promotional record for the very first time.

Now, a formerly-ranked featherweight contender and now-lightweight who last competed in a pay-per-view co-main event has joined the likes of Mark O. Madsen in expressing interest in marking Pimblett’s fourth UFC opponent.

Moicano Wants UFC To Gift Him “Below Average” Pimblett

Renato Moicano
Image Credit: Ron Chenoy of USA TODAY Sports

Since joining the UFC in 2014, Renato Moicano has shared the Octagon with some of the best, including Brian Ortega, Calvin Kattar, José Aldo, Rafael Fiziev, and a 2019 headliner against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.

Last time out, the Brazilian endured another tough assignment, stepping in on less than a week’s notice to face former champion Rafael dos Anjos in a five-round bout at UFC 272. Having been badly beaten in a show of grit that no doubt boosted his fanbase, Moicano is looking to return to the win column when he returns to action.

And though he’s anticipating being given a difficult task next time out, perhaps against an undefeated “tough Russian,” Moicano told Sherdog that he’d love nothing more than to be the one to stall the rise of Paddy “The Baddy.”

“As a fighter we must understand our role in the (show),” Moicano said. “I’m coming from a defeat and expecting UFC to offer me some undefeated guy making his UFC debut or some tough Russian, but that’s not a problem — I’m used to killing two lions per day and that’s what I need do that in order to return to the rankings,” he said. But if they want to give me a surprise gift, Paddy Pimblett would be very welcome.”

When discussing Pimblett as a potential opponent, Moicano gave a pretty damning assessment of the Liverpudlian’s threat, downplaying his skills both on the ground and on the feet.

With that in mind, and given the self-belief he has in his own abilities, Moicano did acknowledge that the bout might not make sense for the UFC given Pimblett’s rise and blossoming stardom.

“No doubt he has qualities,” Moicano stated. “He is able to absorb punches and has reasonable ground skill. But his wrestling is no good. He is not physically strong, and his striking is also below average.

“But we must understand the business. His numbers on social media are amazing and also his hype with fans, so I totally understand that the UFC takes care of him. Giving him a guy like Moicano would make no sense right now,” Moicano concluded.

Given his display of toughness last time out, Moicano will no doubt have a lot of eyeballs tuning in for his next outing. It goes without saying that if it were to come against Pimblett, that number would significantly increase given the ever-growing drawing power and popularity of the UK star.

Would you like to see Paddy Pimblett face Renato Moicano next?

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