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Renato Moicano named backup to Max Holloway-Brian Ortega title fight at UFC 231

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Renato Moicano’s fight with Mirsad Bektic at UFC 231 is off, but all isn’t necessarily lost for the Brazilian featherweight.

On Wednesday, the promotion announced that Bektic has been forced to withdraw from UFC 231 because of injury. As a result, Moicano officially has been named the backup for the headlining title fight between champion Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.

UFC 231 takes place Dec. 8 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

By naming Moicano (13-1-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) as the headliner backup, it’s clear the UFC is looking to protect itself in the event of a last-minute withdrawal by either Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) or Ortega (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC). That’s more of a concern for the champion as Holloway has pulled out of multiple fights this year.

In addition to an injury withdrawal from a title fight with Frankie Edgar back in March, Holloway pulled out of a UFC 223 lightweight title opportunity vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov because of weight cutting issues. Then in July at UFC 226, Holloway was forced out of a title defense against Ortega when he experienced “concussion-like symptoms” just days before the event.

Moicano (13-1-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is riding back-to-back victories, with his most recent coming by submission over Cub Swanson in August at UFC 227. Moicano’s lone defeat was against Ortega by third-round submission in July 2017 at UFC 214.

For more on the UFC 231, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.



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