Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Renato “Moicano” Carneiro is one tough son of a gun. The UFC lightweight took a short-notice opportunity, and although he tasted defeat, many new fans were gained.

UFC 272’s co-main event this past weekend took a hit when the original opponent for Rafael dos Anjos, Rafael Fiziev, tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of fight week. Many names stepped up, but in the end, it was Moicano who got the opportunity.

Heading into the fifth and final round, some serious swelling began developing around Moicano’s left eye which led to the doctors entering the octagon to assess the damage. Referee Marc Goddard gave Moicano 30 seconds into the round to prove he was fine otherwise the fight would be stopped. That warning served its purpose as Moicano rallied to win the round on two of the three judges’ scorecards.

Days after the relatively one-sided unanimous decision defeat, Moicano is feeling good and dealing with no pain despite his battered appearance.

“I’m really thankful the [ref] didn’t stop the fight because otherwise, I would not know what I’m made of,” Moicano said to TMZ Sports. “I always try to go forward, I always try to fight back, and for me, the referee did his job, it was a great job.”

For the 32-year-old Moicano, the loss acted as the fifth of his 22-fight career (16-5-1) and snapped a two-fight winning streak. In typical short-notice fill-ins, we’ll see fighters get right up off the couch to make the best of the situation. In Moicano’s case, he had fought just a month prior at UFC 271 when earning a second-round submission against Alexander Hernandez.

With all the circumstances and outcome in mind, Moicano would still do it all over again if he had to.

“Yes, of course, I don’t regret it,” he said. “I knew I was not 100 percent for the fight because I was coming from a good training camp against Hernandez but it was for three rounds and I finished the guy. I flew straight to Brazil, and I was enjoying my vacation,” Moicano said. “You know, drink some beers, eat some steaks. But, the opportunity shows up, and when an opportunity like that shows up you have to give it a try, and I was ready to beat him. His game plan was better than mine.

“He took me down, what I got mad about everything was that he dominated me on the ground, I’m mad about that. I’m really mad about that, I’m going to have to go to the gym and work on my jiu-jitsu, work on my wrestling. I was not expecting that but I knew I didn’t have the time for training but I still would take the fight.”

TOP STORIES

Deal. Kayla Harrison says PFL promised they’d bring in big-name fighters after signing new contract.

$$$. Joanna Jedrzejczyk still passionate about fighting but admits she makes more money outside the octagon.

Scolding. Stephen A. Smith wonders how Jorge Masvidal was “not ready for a wrestling match.”

Scared. Alex Pereira foresees Israel Adesanya running from potential rematch.

Break. Rafael dos Anjos explains reason for letting up against Renato Moicano at UFC 272.

VIDEO STEW

MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin speaks with Bellator featherweight champion A.J. McKee

Reaction to Kayla Harrison re-signing with PFL.

RIZIN Confessions.

The Fight with Teddy Atlas: Chael Sonnen and Anthony Smith.

Kamaru Usman with Shannon Sharpe.

LISTEN UP

Fighter vs. Writer. A.J. McKee and Kevin Lee chat with MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin.

SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Inspirational Weili.

Training Weili.

Khabib gazes on.

It continues.

No. I’d be in Bellator fighting the taller chick in that pic. https://t.co/mpZsctR8s5

— Kayla Harrison (@KaylaH) March 8, 2022

A Funky novel.

Pumped to announce my book is coming out this year. When Corona hit I needed projects to keep myself busy so I started on this! Took longer than I anticipated, but it turned out great. Hope you enjoy reading about my journey as much as I enjoyed living it https://t.co/XbxyQDnvcF pic.twitter.com/7Ju7TDyE7P

— Funky (@Benaskren) March 8, 2022

Summertime Thuggin’?

Fancy fighter Sanko.

Wholesome Robert.

It’s been a rejuvenating few weeks time to get back to work. Onwards. pic.twitter.com/McM2rZoCoX

— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) March 8, 2022

Support for Kayla.

You can hate on Kayla Harrison all you’d like. But we’re prizefighters. We fight for MONEY. There’s no health plan or retirement fund for us.

If you could make a million a year you would in a heart beat. ‍♂️

— Jay Perrin (@Joker_Gang35) March 8, 2022

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Diana Avsaragova (4-0) vs. Kyra Batara (8-4); Bellator 276, Mar. 12

Damir Hadzovic (14-6) vs. Steve Garcia Jr. (12-4); UFC Vegas 52, Apr. 23

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) vs. Justine Kish (7-5); Bellator 279, Apr. 23

Kyoji Horiguchi (29-4) vs. Patchy Mix (15-1); Bellator 279, Apr. 23

Sergio Pettis (22-5) vs. Raufeon Stotts (17-1); Bellator 279, Apr. 23

Cris Cyborg (25-2) vs. Arlene Blencowe (15-8); Bellator 279, Apr. 23

Liang Na (15-5) vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez (10-4); UFC 275, June 11

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading!

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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