Renato Moicano decided to cancel the fight against Magomed Mustafaev because of his family. He decided, as he says, to put his family in the first place. He wanted the fight to take place in the USA because of his process of getting a green card.
After learning that the fighting would take place in the UAE, he did not want to risk his return to Brazil. "I was looking for a fight since the Brasilia fight, it was such a quick fight and I was uninjured, but we understand that getting a fight isn’t easy with the coronavirus [pandemic],” Moicano said in an interview with MMA Fighting.
“I was telling the UFC I wanted a fight but it couldn’t be outside the United States because of the green card process.
I told the UFC and they said ok, they sent me the contract with the opponent but the location was yet to be defined”. “My lawyer said that if I left [the country] it could affect my green card process,” said Moicano, that says his American Top Team teammate Alexandre Pantoja was unable to immediately return to Florida after competing in Abu Dhabi in July.
“Borders are still closed and there’s a risk of leaving for the flight and returning to Brazil and not being able to come back to the United States and leaving my wife and my 7-month-old son alone here until God knows when.
“I respect the UFC, it’s very important for me and that’s how my make a living, it’s my dream, but we have to always put family first. I wouldn’t drop everything for a fight and leave my son and wife by themselves here.
That could even affect my performance, so I’ve decided to wait”.
Moicano wants to show how good he is
He thinks that he is still an important link in the UFC and that he challenged better than himself, but they refused because, as he says, they are aware of how good he is.
“I belong in the elite of the UFC and regardless of the bad results I had, those two losses were to really tough opponents,” Moicano said of his losses to Jose Aldo and “The Korean Zombie” in 2019.
“I was in the top 5 [at featherweight] and would really like to fight someone better ranked, but I can’t choose.
I can’t say who, but the UFC offered me two guys from the top-15 and I immediately said yes, but both declined. What can I do? I can’t do anything. “The UFC also offered me a fight with Anthony Pettis, who’s also ranked [at welterweight], and Anthony Pettis didn’t want the fight.
What I feel is that I’m a really tough opponent and they know it, but I’m not ranked anymore. I understand them not wanting to fight. When I was in the top-5 everybody wanted to fight me, and now that I’ve left the division they will avoid me, but there’s no other way”.