Jose Aldo’s spectacular victory over Renato Moicano on Saturday night at UFC Fortaleza was one of the fight business’s oldest tales: The legend letting the up-and-comer know that he wasn’t ready to step aside just yet.
Moicano had won five of his six UFC bouts going into the evening’s co-feature attraction, and a victory over the man who held the lineal world featherweight championship for six years would have been the fight which announced he had finally arrived among the elites at 145 pounds once and for all.
Instead, Aldo dazzled the crowd at Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste with a vintage striking display which recalled his heyday, earning a TKO 44 seconds into the second round.
But as soon as the fight was done, so were any ill thoughts Aldo had for Moicano.
Both are Brazilian, after all; Aldo from Manaus and Moicano from Brasilia. Both compete in the same division. Moicano will still plug away at his craft after Aldo calls it a career.
And the former UFC and WEC champion wanted to make sure Moicano knew it, so he made sure to let him know during a postfight chat in the Octagon.
“First of all, I thanked him for the fight,” Aldo said at the post-fight news conference. “I think that I had to say sorry because I was getting in the way of his dreams.”
Brazil’s next generation of fighters are well on their way, with competitors like Johnny Walker, Livia Renata Souza, and Markus Perez all earning victories at UFC Fortaleza. But Moicano represents Brazil’s best bet in the future of the division Aldo helped put out on the map.
“We need the new generation,” Aldo said. “We need new athletes in my division, too. I always dreamed of having a total domination of Brazil in the division and I lost that so I want to give him the strength for that. So now it is in the past and I hope that he keeps going.”
Moicano’s UFC losses are to Aldo and Brian Ortega, two of the very best at 145. Aldo believes Moicano still has it in him to get to the next level, an opinion Saturday night’s result didn’t change.
“He’s got his talent and he’s got his skills and he’s got a great future ahead of him,” Aldo said. “He needs to believe in his team and hopefully he can fight for the title one day and become the champion.”