The lightweight bout served as the feature preliminary bout of Saturday’s event at Madison Square Garden. Following his first-round submission win, Moicano cut an expletive-filled promo with Joe Rogan that got everyone in the arena – and watching at home – fired up.
“I’ve been in the UFC for f****** almost 10 years,” Moicano said on The MMA Hour. “I don’t even know how long I’ve been in the UFC, but I’ve never been treated with respect. So I had to go over there, make a statement, and tell people how I feel.
“I’m just angry and I want to f*** everybody up. I want to fight everybody, and I want to show everybody how good I am. That’s why I speak like that. But what’s funny is that my English is not great, so I think people liked it, but I don’t care, I’m going to start to talk like that, and that’s it.”
Since moving up to 155, Moicano is 3-2 with three submission wins with his two losses coming against surging contender Rafael Fiziev at UFC 256, and, in a short-notice, five-round fight, Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 272.
Moicano feels like he hasn’t been given the kudos he deserves, especially in comparison to fighters like Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson, and Dan Hooker, who’ve remained in the lightweight rankings with several recent losses on their records.
“I don’t know who makes the rankings, but I was No. 7 in the featherweight rankings when I moved up to lightweight,” Moicano said. “I won the [first] fight at lightweight, and they removed me from the rankings. I see people like McGregor, and people like Ferguson [who lost], or people like Hooker who go to featherweight, come back, lost, and are back in the rankings.
“But this is my fault. It’s not the UFC’s fault. You know why? Because I didn’t talk, because I didn’t show myself, but now I’m going to do the opposite and people are going to know me. They’re going to know who I want to fight, and I’m going to show how good I am with my performances, because people in the gym, my coaches, they know how good I am. But I want to show the world.”
For those who enjoyed the more entertaining side of the 33-year-old Moicano, it doesn’t seem like he’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.
“Now I understand the game,” Moicano explained. “Back in the day, I was very humble, because my coach taught me to be like that in Brazil. Ten years ago, you couldn’t be like McGregor, or ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley. If you showed up in a gym like that, they’re going to beat you, they’ll say you can’t be like that.
“But this is entertainment, people like to see that, and I’m beginning to understand that. It’s all about the money, and I want people to watch my fights and my career. So I’m going to be myself, and I have to beat these guys. It’s a package to do everything. [I want] big money, a lot of money.”