Renato Moicano won’t be fighting for the featherweight title next but he does get to square off with a former champion when he faces Jose Aldo at UFC on ESPN+ 2 on Feb. 2.
The 29-year-old nearly fought for the championship belt as he was pegged as a backup fighter for the Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega title fight at UFC 231 last month. However Moicano didn’t make championship weight and said it wasn’t worth the effort when he was assured both main event fighters were good to go.
“I know both guys [made weight] early. To me I was missing like one pound, but I didn’t think it was worth it.” Moicano told MMANews. “I prefer not to miss weight, it’s not a good thing to say. It’s a hard cut for me, when you don’t have an opponent, you don’t train like you really have a fight. Max missed weight two times, I didn’t think he’d miss the third time. The UFC paid me and I talked to them, I didn’t need the money since I didn’t make weight. They saw I was trying and I’m a backup fighter. I come to Toronto to step up if something happened. Actually they are happy the fight happened. It’s no problem don’t think about that.”
Moicano (13-1-1) heads into his fight off back-to-back wins and is excited to face off with a legend like Aldo. While the UFC initially tried booking Cub Swanson against Aldo, the American Top Team product wasn’t surprised to see him earn this matchup.
“I was not surprised [getting the fight] because I know Aldo was waiting for the [result] of the [UFC 231] title fight. Because I know if Brian Ortega won, he might have a chance to fight for him for the title because he’s a legend. But when Holloway won, I know he thinks he won’t get the title fight, so [he’ll] have to fight somebody. [The UFC] almost matched up with Cub Swanson, but [they] had problems. So they asked me.”
Aldo (27-4) snapped a career-high two-fight losing streak in his last bout, making short work of Jeremy Stephens at UFC on FOX 30 last July. Despite going 2-3 in his last five fights, Moicano doesn’t buy into the theory that Aldo is past his prime.
“I think Jose Aldo is still a very good fighter. I was watching his fights, he looks good. He has power, he’s a tremendous champion. I just think it’s my time. I know I’m a good fighter, Jose Aldo is a legend but it’s my time.”
Should Moicano emerge victorious he would likely be in line next for the featherweight title. If current champion Max Holloway decides to stick around in the division, Moicano likes his chances against the current champion.
“I think we have some similar aspects in the striking game. But I respect him a lot. He’s a great champion but I like I said before it’s my time. I will show the world how to beat Max. The UFC didn’t tell me [the winner will get a title shot], but I feel like [it will happen] if you beat a legend like Jose Aldo and you’re well ranked, I think the next step is the championship belt.”