Thursday, December 8, 2022

Renato Moicano Names Desired Opponent After UFC 281 Win

Having returned to the win column in style at UFC 281, Renato Moicano has given one prominent lightweight whom he’d love to share the Octagon with next.

In one of the many notable bouts on this past weekend’s pay-per-view card, Moicano collided with formerly ranked 155lber Brad Riddell inside Madison Square Garden for the featured prelim.

From the opening seconds of the bout, the Brazilian looked cool, calm, and collected, even getting the better of the New Zealander — who’s an elite kickboxer — on the feet.

When the fight quickly entered Moicano’s wheelhouse, he made the most of the position, locking in a rear-naked choke for the tap and first-round submission win.

With that, Moicano quickly rebounded from his five-round loss to Rafael dos Anjos earlier this year, a bout which he accepted on just a few days’ notice and that lead to the former featherweight receiving wide praise for his toughness.

Now, having staked his claim for a place in the lightweight top 15, Moicano is looking to continue his climb up the divisional ladder in 2023. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that he’s called out a contender who boasts a number next to their name.

Moicano Answers Dan Hooker’s Call, Almost…

During his appearance at the post-fight press conference, which came after he had an impassioned interview with Joe Rogan inside the Octagon, Moicano assessed what could be next for him as he seeks another win streak.

In terms of his next opponent, the Brazilian had the name of a fellow UFC 281 victor on his lips — the #12-ranked Dan Hooker. “The Hangman” also returned to winning ways in New York, stopping Claudio Puelles in the main card opener.

With those results in mind, Moicano believes it “makes sense” for the pair to collide in 2023, perhaps in front of his home crowd at UFC 283 in January.

“I’m hoping they give me Hooker, because he just win,” Moicano said. “It makes sense for me. We just fought on the same night and I just beat his training partner, so I think that fight makes sense, what do you guys think?”

When a reporter noted Hooker’s desire to fight close to him at UFC 284, set for Australia next February, Moicano suggested that the wildlife in the Oceanic country isn’t to his taste, and that he’d much rather meet the New Zealander in Rio de Janeiro.

“Australia, perfect,” Moicano initially said, before changing his tune. “Australia is not perfect, Brazil is perfect. And Brazil is right away. Everybody knows, everybody loves Rio. Who doesn’t like Rio? So, I don’t know about Australia; crocodiles and all that stuff, spiders. I stick to Rio.”

Following his rebound win on Saturday, Hooker outlined his plans to return at UFC 284, and called on any lightweight to step up to the plate for the February date. But given Moicano’s hesitancy about making the trip Down Under, the Brazilian may not fit the bill.

Having dominantly dispatched Riddell at UFC 281, Moicano is clearly keen on adding the name of another City Kickboxing stalwart to his lightweight résumé.

And should the Brazilian emerge victorious from a potential scrap with “The Hangman,” and featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski succeed in his upcoming effort against Islam Makhachev, perhaps his conquest against the New Zealand-based team will continue right to the title down the line.

How do you think a fight between Renato Moicano and Dan Hooker would play out?

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