UFC 256 Betting Pick: Rafael Fiziev vs Renato Moicano

Rafael Fiziev is a bad man. And so is Renato Moicano. This is a fight that is easily being overshadowed and thus overlooked by fans due to the hype on the rest of the main card.

The main event of Brandon Moreno vs Deiveson Figuruedo for the Flyweight World Title is pretty good. It gets even better when you remember that not one but both men fought just 3 weeks ago.

This is huge for mixed martial arts!

I am all for big fights on just a few weeks notice. Anytime we get to see Brandon Moreno who will be the first Mexican-born mixed martial artist to fight for a UFC world title and Deiveson Figueredo who is just lighting the world on fire right now, scrap after a 3 week break, I’m thrilled.

The return of Tony Ferguson, though, in my opinion, is the most anticipated storyline on the fight card. We are going to get into Fiziev and Moicano in a moment but more than anything, people want to see how El Cucuy rebounds from the worst beating he’s ever taken inside the Octagon.

His opponent, Charles Oliveira, may be the scariest of punchers but he is surely capable of rattling that brain. Tony will be 37 and the Brazilian has never looked better.

It’s completely understandable that the main and co-main events are getting so much hype but for now, let’s focus on the former Featherweight gatekeeper Renato Moicano and Tiger Muay Thai Coach and Master of Sport in Sambo, Rafael Fiziev.

Please Note:
From a betting perspective, this is a very difficult fight so maybe don’t bet multiple units on this one. I wanted to break it down, though, because I do feel like we have some available value to work with.

BetOnline.AG has the goods for us. Let’s take a look at the UFC betting odds and make a prediction for the fight between Renato Moicano and Rafael Fiziev.

Rafael Fisiev (-147) vs Renato Moicano (+127)

I was a little surprised to see Rafael as the favorite here. The recency bias is strong but then again, so is he. The Kyrgyzstani rising star has an incredible build fighting and is one of the most explosive athletes in the entire organization.

Why am I so surprised?

Well, Renato Moicano may have lost me a bet when he was dropped by a quick overhand right from the Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung and quickly finished – but that was the worst loss of his career.

So, not all bad. His other two losses were to the former Featherweight king for many years, Jose Aldo, and to, in my opinion, the future Featherweight World Champ, Brain Ortega.

His best wins are against Zubaira Tukhugov, Cub Swanson, Jeremy Stephens, and last but certainly not least, Calvin Kattar. This was at 145 pounds, though.

Renato is making the jump to 155 and I expect a massive boost in his performance. I think it will certainly help his questionable at times chin as well as his conditioning and the power in his strikes.

Moicano is a bad man but I think he is going to have to get this fight to the mat in order to get the win over such an outstanding striker like the Thailand trained and resident Fisiev. That makes such a massive difference.

Being somewhere like Tiger means he is still getting world class wrestling and BJJ. That place is a one stop shop for MMA in Phuket, Thailand. So, anytime The Land of Smiles wants to kindly open back up, some of us could get some incredible training in but que sera, sera or as Max Holloway likes to say: It is what it is.

I really like Moicano’s striking. I don’t think it is elite by any means but almost always sufficient at the least. Renato is not the strongest wrestler either but he may be able to use some leverage to get his shorter stockier opponent down.

We don’t really know too much about Rafy’s takedown defense other than the fact that evolutionarily speaking, it should be pretty solid eventually. I say this because he is absolutely filthy on his feet and ain’t nobody got time for that.

The question is has “eventually” morphed into the present?

Can he stop the likely takedown attempts of the Brazilian and how will he fare from there. We just have so many unknowns here with the UFC newcomer.

Either way, I think we have to make an assumption. He has the takedown defense and ground game to match Moicano or he doesn’t.

When we have to make these uneducated guesses, I say we side with the value. I also expect a significant boost in performance from the Brazilian as well.

My Pick

In Conclusion

This should be a really good fight and I have it lined much closer to a pick’em. There are a lot of unknowns with Fiziev’s skillset and also how well Renato Moicano will do coming up a weight class.

As I said a moment ago, I wouldn’t bet more than a unit here.

My gut said Moicano at first and then after looking at what tape we do have, he appears to be the more complete mixed martial artist. We know he has a major edge in high level experience inside the Octagon and his 3 losses are essentially to all top 5 fighters in the Featherweight division.

Cutting too much weight and/or doing it incorrectly/stuff just happening can not only affect your cardio but also your ability to take a punch.

This is why you can rehydrate your body in the morning if you’re hungover but it takes almost all day or more for the headache to completely subside. That is if you truly have a hangover and not just being a wimp.

The viscosity in your brain isn’t as thick as it needs to be and you’re concussed easier.

Fun stuff.

Maybe check the weigh ins to see how Renato looks and the line will probably get even better for him so no rush on this one.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.