Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight sluggers Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano scrapped last night (Aug. 4, 2018) at UFC 227 inside Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Ahead of this bout, many wrote Swanson off. The longtime veteran was on the heels of two straight losses, and he looked a bit gun shy opposite Frankie Edgar. However, Swanson was in a similar situation to end 2015, but he rebuilt well with a four-fight win streak that nearly saw him earn a title shot.
Perhaps hope was not lost just yet.
As for Moicano, the Brazilian has only needed a handful of fights to impress and prove himself a top contender. Already a highly ranked Featherweight, Moicano was looking to prove himself ready for the title mix rather than just a gatekeeper to the elite.
This one lived up to the hype.
Swanson immediately pressured his opponent, looking to chop the calf and land heavy shots. Moicano pivoted and moved very well, countering Swanson’s aggression with kicks of his own and jabs. Both men were effective early, with Swanson landing good body shots and pushing the pace while Moicano worked the counter.
Suddenly, Moicano speared “Killer Cub” with a picture-perfect jab. Swanson went down, and the Brazilian swarmed him with punches, smashing into Swanson with hammer fists and nearly ending the bout immediately. The veteran hung tough though, forcing Moicano to carve through his guard and take the back when Swanson tried to explode out.
Moicano’s back control is nasty, and it didn’t take long for him to slide the arm under the neck.
Moicano was smooth and violent last night. His footwork was on point from the beginning, as he navigated Swanson’s aggression quite well, landing kicks on his advancing foe and sticking him with straight shots. One such straight shot eventually began the finish, an excellent example of how dangerous a simple jab can be when thrown properly with 4 oz. gloves.
Once on the mat, Moicano’s black belt shined. Swanson is a game veteran and seemed to have recovered quickly, but it didn’t matter. Moicano gained his dominant position quickly, and he secured his sixth rear naked choke win.
Give Moicano a title eliminator next, perhaps against Jose Aldo?
As for Swanson, there isn’t all that much to analyze. He had to push the pace and close the distance against the more dangerous kicker, and he was doing so in smart fashion, working low kicks and body shots to close the distance. The exchanges were definitely competitive prior to the fight-changing jab, which is always possible in the crazy world of MMA.
Unfortunately, Swanson has now lost three straight fights. Those defeats came to some of the division’s best, but they also pretty firmly end his title dreams. At 34 years old, Swanson needs a step back in competition to see if his physical abilities are still there.
Last night, Renato Moicano took out an excellent opponent in short fashion. What’s next for the Brazilian?
For complete UFC 227: “Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!