COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – A perennial contender in the featherweight division, Renato Moicano wants to prove he’s among the best at 155 pounds.
Moicano (15-4-1 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is 2-1 since moving up to lightweight and is coming off a second-round submission of Jai Herbert in June. He’ll meet Alexander Hernandez (13-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) at UFC 271 and sees him as the perfect fighter to propel him to ranked opposition.
“I want to fight the best, and I think he’s good,” Moicano told MMA Junkie. “He fought big names, and I think we’re gonna have a good spot on the card. It’s Feb. 12. I think Adesanya is the main event, so it’s gonna be a good card, and I’m happy to be on that card and fight against Hernandez, so I feel good.”
He continued, “I feel it’s gonna be an exciting matchup. It’s gonna be a good fight for the fans, and I hope after the fight, I get a ranked opponent because when I moved to 155, I was ranked in the top 10 (featherweight), and I didn’t fight a top-ranked (opponent) yet in ’55 yet, and I know I’m one of the best in the world, so I want my chance after the fight.”
Moicano moved up to lightweight after back-to-back stoppage losses to Jose Aldo and Chan Sung Jung. Now that he’s no longer depleting his body, he feels a big difference in his performances having to cut 10 fewer pounds.
“I think it was a smart move for me,” Moicano said. “I’m gonna be more durable, and I’m gonna have more years in the fight game, and I feel pretty well. I train with a lot of good guys like Dustin (Poirier) and Mateusz (Gamrot) and Thiago (Moises) and a lot of 155 and 170 pounders of the gym, and I feel strong. I feel it was a smart move.”
He continued, “I was a contender (featherweight), and I didn’t want to let go of my chance for the title. But I lost two in a row, and it was affecting my performance, so I had to make the move. Right now I feel confident, I feel heavy, and I feel happy training and not worrying so much about the diet.”