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UFC 227 card: Cub Swanson vs Renato Moicano full fight preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight scrappers Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano will throw down this Saturday (Aug. 4, 2018) at UFC 227 inside Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Swanson’s resurgence saw him nearly earn a title shot, but he was knocked back down the ladder by a pair of top five contenders. Nevertheless, Swanson is one of the more accomplished Featherweights in UFC history with a long history in the rankings and deep skill set. However, he’s an absolutely massive underdog to Moicano, who may be by far the lesser known name, but it seems he’s expected to wipe the floor with “Killer Cub.” The Brazilian does have a quality resume in recent years and is coming off a particularly dominant win, but surprising to see him a larger favorite over Swanson than anyone else.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for both men and see if those odds are justified:

Cub Swanson
Record: 25-9
Key Wins: Doo Ho Choi (UFC 206), Jeremy Stephens (UFC Fight Night 44), Hacran Dias (UFC on FOX 19), Charles Oliveira (UFC 152)
Key Losses: Frankie Edgar (UFC Fight Night 128, UFC Fight Night 57), Max Holloway (UFC on FOX 15), Brian Ortega (UFC Fight Night 123), Ricardo Lamas (UFC on FOX 1)
Keys to Victory: Swanson is a wily veteran with a free-flowing approach to kickboxing that allows him to thrive in chaotic fights. He’s also an underrated offensive wrestler with sneaky jiu-jitsu, a pair of factors that could potentially come into play as well.

A big part of the reasoning for Swanson’s status as a nearly 4-1 underdog is the pair’s respective performances. Swanson looked seriously flat against Edgar, whereas Moicano brutally chopped down one of the division’s best prospects, making a very talented fighter look mediocre.

Swanson is looking to avoid that fate and more specifically avoid the low kicks. Dealing with low kicks is not an easy task: a man who relies on boxing head movement and footwork like Swanson does cannot easily check them, nor does Swanson have the type of grinding wrestling or pressure that can stall kicks.

Realistically, Swanson has to stay offensive and make Moicano pay for kicks. If the Brazilian is eating a heavy combination of shots after each kick attempt, he’ll stop throwing them. On a related note, Moicano has a tendency to plant his feet and fire back any time his opponent throws at him. If Swanson can feint and convince him a big combination is coming, he should be able to instead take an angle and capitalize if he knows Moicano is looking to throw back immediately.

Renato Moicano
Record: 12-1 (1)
Key Wins: Jeremy Stephens (UFC on FOX 24), Calvin Kattar (UFC 223), Tom Niinimaki (UFC Fight Night 58), Zubair Tukhugov (UFC 198)
Key Losses: Brian Ortega (UFC 214)
Keys to Victory: Moicano is a well-rounded and high activity fighter. A jiu-jitsu black belt with solid takedowns and a smart ability to adjust to the individual fighter, much of Moicano’s success has been in the stand up. His style is very Muay Thai, as the Brazilian tends to work in long combinations and finish with a hard kick.

Calvin Kattar is a dangerous offensive boxer with great feints and footwork, but Moicano broke his lead leg down quickly and left him helpless. Swanson relies more on combinations and looping shots than Katter’s favorite jab, but keeping him at range and breaking down his leg should work quite well.

In addition, Moicano should look to bring back his reactive takedowns. Swanson’s offensive boxing disappeared after being forced to defend a few of Frankie Edgar’s takedowns last time out. If Swanson is met with a double leg attempt each time he finally manages to close the distance, it will be incredibly frustrating.

Bottom Line: It should be a violent fight.

The important of this bout cannot be overstated for Swanson, who is looking to avoid three-straight losses. In the bigger picture, Swanson is also trying not to officially be placed in the position of gatekeeper. There are still interesting fights available for Swanson in the top 10, but that’s only the case if he manages to pull off the upset on Saturday.

For Moicano, he’s in the process of building momentum and making a name for himself. His last three fights have proved his place among the top 10, but Featherweight is a stacked division right now. It is going to take a string of victories for the Brazilian to earn a title shot, but at least a win over Swanson would likely push him into the top five. Meanwhile, a loss would be a huge setback — Moicano is expected to dominate and has to live up to those expectations if he’s to keep moving forward.

At UFC 227, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano will go to war. Which man will have his hand raised?

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