Most believed that Renato Moicano’s fight against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 272 should have been stopped early due to the massive amount of damage he absorbed during the five-round affair.
However, Moicano is not one of those people. The 32-year-old fighter is glad he was able to go out on his shield, despite being completely demolished during the short-notice scrap.
“I’m really thankful that the judge didn’t stop the fight because otherwise, I would not know what I’m made of,” Moicano told TMZ. “I always try to go forward, I always try to fight back and for me, it was perfect. The referee did his job, it was a great job.”
Moicano earned some respect for his performance, especially considering he stepped in on less than a week’s notice.
“I flew straight to Brazil, and I was enjoying my vacation. You know, drink some beers, eat some steaks,” Moicano said. “But the opportunity shows up, and when an opportunity like that shows up you have to give it a try, and I was ready to beat him. His game plan was better than mine.”
Moicano on Beat up Eye: I’m Not Feeling Pain
The ringside doctor came out twice to check on Moicano’s injuries during the fight, including a gruesome-looking left eye that dos Anjos sliced up with a series of elbows and punches while on the ground.
“No, I’m not feeling pain. It’s just black, you know?” Moicano said of his eye.
It’s the first time Moicano has gone into detail about the damage he sustained during the fight. He did issue a statement on his social media following the fight, writing: “No excuses, thanks Rafael dos Anjos and UFC for this opportunity. This defeat doesn’t define me. I’m not a loser, because I lost. And I’m not a winner when I win.”
In the end, dos Anjos won via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-44, 50-44).
“It could’ve been stopped a couple times,” UFC president Dana White said after the fight. “It’s just that Moicano is one of those guys that’s so tough. It could’ve been stopped and then at the end of the fifth round he started coming on. RDA was probably happy there wasn’t one more round of that fight.”
Rafael dos Anjos Says He Took Foot Off the Gas
Many were surprised that referee Marc Goddard did not stop the fight, including dos Anjos. The veteran Brazillian took some shots in Round 5 and admitted that he took his foot off the gas a little.
“I was [surprised the fight wasn’t stopped],” dos Anjos said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I told my corner, after the doctor stepped in from the third to the fourth and the fourth to the fifth, they didn’t stop it in the third and I said, ‘They’re gonna stop it for sure.’ But they didn’t. My coaches told me, ‘Just walk around, eat some time, don’t need to take any risks right now. He’s probably gonna try to do some crazy stuff right now. You’re winning the fight already, don’t take any risks.’ But that’s something that I need to work on, because every time I try to not fight my fight, my style, which is going forward and throwing, I don’t fight well.”
dos Anjos said he took a shot to the eye in the fifth round that was especially damaging as he tried to not take any risks.
“I’m not gonna say I took it easy on him in the fifth. I went, but I took my foot off the gas because I knew I was four rounds ahead and he’s a hard guy to finish, so my coach said don’t take any risks, just go there, eat some time, walk around, but that’s when I got caught. I think by taking my foot off the gas, he kind of recovered a little bit and felt more confident, that’s why he came forward and threw those shots.”
Moicano was handed a 60-day suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission after the brutal loss, per MMA Junkie.