Headlining a UFC event for the first time is a dream come true for Brazilian featherweight Renato Moicano, and it comes months after his toughest defeat in the Octagon.
Moicano, who meets “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC Greenville on June 22, is thrilled to see his face on a UFC poster, something he has hoped for since his early days in the sport. And even though he’s coming off a defeat to Jose Aldo in the co-main event of UFC Fortaleza earlier this year, Moicano sees himself a better man now.
The American Top Team talent still considers his loss to Aldo an early stoppage, but “won’t get into that anymore”. In the end, Moicano looks back at his experience sharing the cage with Aldo and everything that happened leading up to the event in his native country as a learning experience.
“Life is so wonderful that it shows you the right path to go, and sometimes having to take a step back helps you a lot,” Moicano told MMA Fighting. “Jose Aldo is someone I respect a lot, I have no shame in admitting that he’s my idol, but that fight showed me I can stand with him and the best fighters.”
Aldo vs. Moicano was originally planned to be the main event in Fortaleza, but Aldo opted against fighting five rounds without a belt on the line, so Marlon Moraes vs. Raphael Assuncao ended up headlining the show.
However, Aldo’s first UFC fight in the northeast area of Brazil was viewed by many as the main attraction that night, and Moicano admits that played a big factor in the cage.
“I got a lot of attention from fans, people coming to talk to me all the time, and maybe I didn’t handle that really well,” Moicano said. “People saying I was going to beat Jose Aldo, maybe I let that carry myself too much and didn’t dedicate to the big task I had ahead of me, which was beating Jose Aldo.
“I should have gotten more focused. I was fighting in Brazil and everybody talking about me being the betting favorite. I was too clam in there, and we can’t underestimate someone like Jose Aldo, a knockout artist, the best featherweight of all times. I’ve learned that we have to be the same way, no matter who we’re fighting.
“This is our life. It’s kill or be killed. A loss means a lot, a win means a lot. A loss means many steps back and no one cares about you. If you win, you’re good. If you lose, you’re bad. I’ve learned to stay focused on myself and not think about others.”
Moicano bounced in great fashion from his first career loss in 2017, defeating Calvin Kattar and Cub Swanson following his defeat to Brian Ortega, and promises the same against “The Korean Zombie” in June.
“It’s going to be a great five-round fight and I’m working hard to do my best,” Moicano said. “I believe it’s gonna be the fight of the year.”