Moicano (13-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) is currently tapped as the alternate in the event something happens to Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) or Ortega (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) prior to UFC 231 that would prevent them from competing. It’s a bit of a weird situation being on standby, but the Brazilian said he’s embracing it.
“I’m feeling blessed to deserve this chance and fight for the title,” Moicano told MMAjunkie. “Let’s see if something happens. … I will be ready. If they need, I will step up and become a world champion. If it’s not Saturday, I think in the next title defense of who will be champion, I will be the next contender.”
Moicano was originally scheduled to fight Mirsad Bektic at UFC 231. Bektic withdrew from the card due to injury, though, and with the promotion unable to find a suitable replacement, Moicano was kept on the card as insurance for the main event.
With Holloway having withdrawn from thee planned title defenses already in 2018, it seems Moicano’s placement was more to back up “Blessed” than Ortega. Moicano said he will be prepared to face either man on incredibly short notice, though, and said he already has strategies prepared for either scenario.
“I want to beat Brian, beat Max and beat every guy who they put to fight with me because I know I’m capable,” Moicano said. “I know I’m the only guy that can beat Max because the size, because the game. I put him on the ground, I have better jiu-jitsu. I am a good striker like Max. Then Brain’s the same. The first fight I was training in Brazil and not in USA. Now I’m in the big gym at American Top Team with great coaches. It’s a completely different fight.”
UFC 231 takes place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
If Holloway and Ortega successfully make weight on Friday, that would seemingly be the point where Moicano could take his foot off the gas and accept he’s not fighting. He plans to stay ready beyond that, though, and won’t relax until he sees Holloway and Ortega throwing punches.
“(I’ll be ready) all the way,” Moicano said. “If they walk out to the cage and say, ‘Oh, Brian or Max pulled out.’ Let’s go. I’ll be this close. I’ll just take off my shirt and go.”
If Moicano’s title-fight opportunity doesn’t come to fruition, he said he’ll be OK with it because he’s still in a good position. He thinks his alternate tag proves he’s the next man on deck at 145 pounds, and he said he expects to fight the Holloway vs. Ortega winner next year.
“I think if they put me in that spot they think (about me getting the next title shot),” Moicano said. “I want to fight for the title no matter who is the opponent. Let’s see. Maybe Saturday, if not Saturday then next year for sure.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Renato Moicano will prepare for UFC 231 title fight until Holloway, Ortega are in cage