Jeremy Stephens has long been known as one of the heaviest hitters in the lower weight classes.
His UFC on FOX 24 opponent, Renato Moicano, clearly knew this, and made it a point not to step into Stephens’ wheelhouse. An effective countering strategy gave the undefeated Brazilian competitor a split decision victory in Kansas City on Saturday night, as he took two out of three 29-28 scores.
Moicano (11-0-1) set the tone in the opening round, as he got on his bicycle and made Stephens chase him, leaving Stephens visibly flustered.
Stephens, who didn’t train for this fight with San Diego’s Alliance MMA for the first time in quite awhile, found better success in the second round, his best of the fight. But Moicano returned to his game plan in the third. He established a successful jab which slowly demoralized Stephens, and scampered to safety whenever it appeared Stephens was about to get something going.
Moicano improved to 3-0 in the UFC with his sixth straight overall victory. Stephens (25-14) has dropped two in a row and three of his past four.