In terms of optics, the only thing worse than a fighter turning and running from his opponent in the cage is a fighter pulling out a sawed-off shotgun and blowing his opponent away midfight. Well, Renato Moicano didn’t use any firearms at UFC on FOX 24 in his bout against Jeremy Stephens, but the dude sure did sprint a lot.
It was clear from the beginning of Round 1 that Moicano didn’t want to risk getting touched by Stephens blazing counters and fists of fury, for he punctuated every exchange with some serious “exit stage left!” or “exit stage right!” that had him circling out of there with a quickness. Tactically it worked, as it frustrated Stephens – since he has to stop and plant himself to put power in his hands – but after a while you started to wonder if the next 15 minutes were going to be like this, and should you go to the kitchen and make yourself some ramen noodles in the meantime? With about a minute and a half left in the round Moicano scored a takedown, and when the horn sounded he was still on top.
Stephens tried to impose his will with a takedown early in the second, but it was stuffed, and he resumed chasing. Moicano, continued with his game plan of not be around when Stephens’ strikes are thrown, and he racked up points with kicks to Stephens’ legs.
Round 3 had Moicano nailing a takedown within the first minute, and when they scrambled up, he continued to pepper Stephens’ legs with kicks. Stephens, now bloody from a jab to the grill, cranked up his pursuit – which prompted Moicano to just straight-up turn and run. And that’s pretty much the story of the round.
Results: Renato Moicano def. Jeremy Stephens via Split Decision