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Mirsad Bektic believes win over Renato Moicano solidifies title contender status

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Mirsad Bektic has been considered a top prospect at featherweight ever since his UFC debut in 2014, and with a win over fellow high-flying featherweight Renato Moicano at UFC 231, the Tristar fighter believes he will solidify himself as a title contender.

Speaking on the latest episode of Eurobash, Bektic explained how he feels his skillset will be undeniable if he clinches victory on Dec. 8.

“I think each performance I have sends a message to everybody about my potential and my skillset,” Bektic said.

“I rarely hear guys call me out and I think that’s for a reason. Stylistically, I feel like I’m a bad matchup for everyone. It’s all about timing and it looks like it’s unfolding the way it’s supposed to and I just happen to be a part of it.

“It’s a great opportunity against a guy like Moicano, he’s a top competitor. Beating somebody like him who has beaten a lot of top guys [would send a message]. We’ve got similar records, so beating him really pushes me up there and solidifies my spot in the rankings and as a title contender.”

Max Holloway is scheduled to defend the featherweight crown in the main event of the Toronto card against Brian Ortega. Bektic believes that competing on the same card will only help his chances of ascending to a title showdown should he have his hand raised.

“[Moicano and I] are similar because we’ve both flown under the radar, but he brings a lot to the table. He has a lot of strengths and a good skillset. We’ve both flown under the radar and now we have an opportunity to showcase our ability against each other. Having the 145 title fight on the card is going to make a lot of other things make sense, as in who should fight next for [the belt] and who is going to lead the pack from now on,” said Bektic.

Given that Moicano occupies the fourth slot in the UFC’s featherweight rankings, Bektic is confident that a win will put him in pole position to face the champion in his next outing.

“He’s the number four guy and I’m number eight,” he explained. “If I beat him I’m going to close the gap in terms of who I can fight next, especially if I go out there and dominate like I do in most fights.

“As far as what the UFC thinks, I don’t know. As far as I’m thinking, if I go out there and perform the way I can and will, it’s going to be hard to deny me. But I don’t mind fighting someone else; it’s just another chance for me to get to where I want to go. At the end of the day I’m going to keep knocking until I get the chance. Once I get that chance I’m going to capitalize on it and win that belt.

“It’s hard for me to go backwards, especially with a dominant over Moicano. It’s only going to propel me forward. As you said, there are only three guys ahead of him, so we can roll the dice and see which one comes up.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Mirsad Bektic interview begins at 17:00.

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