I have nothing but respect for Renato Moicano. That man is tough as hell, and he has an incredible level of self belief. To accept a five-round fight with Rafael dos Anjos on just a handful of days’ notice is massively bold, and the way he kept pushing to fight in the fifth is admirable. Unfortunately, that late rally distracts from the real issue here.
Namely, Moicano’s heart doesn’t justify the situation he found himself in. There’s no reason he should’ve been allowed to be brutalized for the majority of 25 minutes. It didn’t need to happen, yet so many parties kept letting the damage build. The main point of all these various organizing bodies and layers of oversight is to prevent someone from being killed or permanently damaged. At the very least, minimizing those chances of something devastating happening is a worthy goal.
On every level, little concern was shown for Moicano’s well-being. For one, why did UFC maintain this bout as five rounds? Those extra 10 minutes were totally unnecessary, and they resulted in further abuse to an already rattled brain. Shouldn’t Moicano and/or his management have negotiated the match down to three rounds? It was a short-notice fight, not a main event, and this match up was never scheduled to be a main event. Did those extra 10 minutes of promised action sell a single additional pay-per-view (PPV)?
The next layers of defense for Moicano were the referee, doctor and his corner — the order of which is debatable, though I’d argue each of them failed him in one way or another. In the third round, referee Marc Goddard nearly stopped the fight following a bad head kick knockdown and big flurry of ground strikes. Moicano did his best to hold on, but it was a long period of damage, and the fight was clearly trending poorly for him already. A stoppage there would have been plenty justifiable. Goddard also strongly considered calling the contest after the fourth, but he deferred to the doctor rather than take action.
Speaking of the ringside doc, I’m not a medical professional, but that examination before the fifth wasn’t a great optic. In checking Moicano’s eye socket — which was zombie-like and bulbous — at least two of Moicano’s gashes starting bleeding freely.
His quick examination made Moicano’s situation worse!
Personally, I lay a lion’s share of the blame on Moicano’s corner. It’s their job to advise and protect their athlete. They know his situation and relative lack of preparation better than anyone else. They should care more about his suffering and longevity for reasons both sporting and human. They’re the ones speaking to him between rounds and then watching him fail to apply their adjustments. They’re supposed to care.
The writing on the wall was there, but everyone in the area either wasn’t able to see it or refused to act.
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