Renato Moicano has sights firmly on ex-champ Jose Aldo, however ‘I’m the man to beat Max Holloway’

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When Renato Moicano was lastly provided the battle he’d been asking for, in opposition to Jose Aldo, he thought he’d have another excuse to have a good time. Moicano figured, like lots of people, that the battle with the ex-champ would additionally come together with his first UFC predominant occasion.

Moicano was “very completely satisfied” about that. However he was additionally unsuitable. In a choice that, in keeping with UFC president Dana White, finally rested on Aldo’s will the featherweight bout will truly function the co-main occasion of Feb. 2’s UFC on ESPN+ 2 card at Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste Fortaleza, Brazil.

If there was ever any disappointment there, although, it appears Moicano bought over it fairly rapidly.

“I believe, both method, it’s going to be a wonderful battle,” Moicano informed MMAjunkie. “I wasn’t upset. Simply the chance of combating in Brazil, in opposition to Jose Aldo, it’s price greater than any predominant occasion.”

Moicano’s (13-1-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) admiration for Aldo (27-Four MMA, 9-Three UFC) is a recurring theme in his interviews, and this one was no exception. At each flip, particularly when the dialog veered into talks of a future which may contain a title shot, Moicano was fast to emphasize the only focus of his consideration.

“Individuals should keep in mind that Aldo isn’t simply any opponent,” Moicano stated. “He’s a legend, a champion. He’s a man whom I extremely respect, an awesome opponent and I’m considering solely about beating him on Feb. 2. What occurs later, occurs later. Proper now I’m centered, coaching like I’ve by no means skilled earlier than. Actually dedicating myself for this chance.”

It’s not precisely unusual to listen to fighter is targeted on their subsequent battle. And given Moicano has by no means actually been one to resent or speak any trash about his opponents, it’s not precisely shocking that he’s not going round talking poorly of the ex-champ.

However Moicano’s recognition of Aldo doesn’t simply come from a spot of diplomacy. It additionally comes from the acknowledgement that he’s bought a legitimately robust opponent and an awesome athlete – and never, regardless of what some might consider, a fighter who’s previous his prime.

“I’m getting ready for the very best Aldo,” Moicano stated. “On the battle in opposition to (Jeremy) Stephens, I believed he was wanting good … I believe he nonetheless has a number of energy in his strikes, he’s very a lot alive within the battle. So, actually, I’m ready for a battle.”

After all, going into the aforementioned devastating second-round knockout of Stephens at UFC on FOX 30, Aldo wasn’t precisely dwelling his greatest second. He was in actual fact driving his first profession skid, after back-to-back TKO losses to present champ Max Holloway.

The way in which Moicano sees it, although, these losses are much less indicative of Aldo’s decay than they’re of Holloway’s personal expertise. Therefore, what the present champ would go on to do virtually one yr later, in opposition to the then-undefeated Brian Ortega at UFC 231.

“What appears to be is that Holloway is a man who’s method up there,” Moicano stated. “With the efficiency over Ortega, it’s plain that the one man who beat Jose Aldo, outdoors of (Conor) McGregor, is a man who’s hovering, with spectacular performances. We noticed many individuals praising his show over Ortega. I used to be there and it was a beatdown. In opposition to a man who everybody is aware of is hard, who knocked out Frankie Edgar and who was coming off a number of wins. And Max Holloway actually dominated him.”

It’s been established that Moicano’s predominant concern at this level is on the current. However whereas we’re with regards to Holloway, the 29-year-old doesn’t thoughts discussing potentialities for the not-so-distant future.

“I believe that (Aldo) being contender No. 2, and myself being contender No. Four, whomever wins might be proper there for a title shot,” Moicano stated. “To not point out, the No. 1 simply misplaced. In order that’s it.

“This battle, I’m certain that it’s going to decide who will battle for the belt and I’m certain it is going to be me.”

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Moicano is driving a two-fight profitable streak, together with a first-round submission over Cub Swanson final August. His sole loss was introduced upon by Ortega, within the third spherical of a UFC 214 bout that Moicano had arguably been profitable, after a choice win over Stephens.

For his or her half, the UFC appears to agree that the Brazilian is title-ready; in spite of everything, they’d him function a back-up fighter for UFC 231’s title bout after his authentic opponent, Mirsad Bektic, needed to pull out.

A variety of these developments boil right down to timing, and Moicano is aware of that the destiny of the 145-pound belt is considerably unclear amid hypothesis of Holloway taking a stab at light-weight. However, so far as credentialing himself goes, he believes that including a former champion to his 13-1 report would do the trick.

If he’s proper, that will imply going up in opposition to a person whom Moicano simply noticed add a jaw-dropping 13th win to his streak. So what can Moicano provide that every one these males – together with the 2 challengers he holds in such excessive regard – couldn’t?

“I’m the man to beat Max Holloway,” Moicano stated. “I’ve the identical bodily traits as him, from vary to even the way in which he controls the gap. Max Holloway is somebody who controls the gap nicely, however he’s been combating smaller guys. He has been doing a wonderful sport? Sure. He’s the champion. He’s the person.

“However I’m 100 p.c sure that I would be the hardest battle for him within the division and I which have excellent probabilities of profitable in opposition to him. For the truth that I even have the grappling – he doesn’t use jiu-jitsu so much, he’s been submitted earlier than. And I’m sure that I can do a wonderful battle.”

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Earlier than he offers with the Holloway drawback, Moicano has a extra pressing – and, the way in which he sees it, basically completely different – one simply subsequent month. Whether or not he’ll be capable of remedy it or not, we’ll see. However one factor is for certain: It wasn’t for lack of finding out.

“It’s a battle that I, prefer it or not, have ready for my complete life,” Moicano stated. “Once I began MMA, earlier than I even began it, Aldo was already the champion. And I at all times wished to be a champion. So I keep in mind individuals saying, ‘Oh, you’re combating MMA, however which division?’ and I stated, ‘In Aldo’s division.’ I already knew it. And I wished it. I at all times wished to battle the very best.

“For me, this has been the success of a dream, actually, being on the similar stage as Aldo. I’m sure that I’ll get there on Feb. 2 very well-prepared and I’ll give it my greatest. I do know I’m an excellent athlete, too. I do know I’ve what it takes to beat him. And that’s what you’ll be able to anticipate there: A really well-prepared Renato Moicano, searching for the win from begin to end.”

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