As he rides a four-fight streak that includes an RFA title win and two successful title defenses into Friday’s LFA 17, Thiago Moises has one question to ask.
“What do I have to do to get into the UFC?” Moises asked MMAjunkie. “I already won three belts at RFA, including by helicopter armbar, the best submission of 2016. I’m young. I’m 22. I speak English. I’m waiting for my chance.”
Moises’ claims are not exactly crazy. While he may be a tad biased in calling the helicopter armbar (over David Castillo) the best submission of 2016, the rare finish did get nominated for the 2017 Fighters Only World MMA Awards. And it lost to a stiff opponent: the iconic rear-naked choke that Nate Diaz used to beat Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
With the win over Castillo, which served as RFA 35’s headliner in February 2016, Moises earned the vacant 155-pound belt. The Brazilian fighter was originally scheduled to co-headline that same card against David Putvin but ended up with a fortuitous shot at the belt after Zach Juusola got injured.
Four months later, Moises knocked out Jamall Emmers at RFA 38 to defend his title for the first time. The lightweight was most recently seen taking a unanimous nod over Zach Freeman, a name that made waves last month after mercilessly spoiling one of the sport’s most heavily hyped debuts at Bellator 180.
“(Freeman) is tough and fights very hard,” Moises said. “Regardless, I dominated him for all five rounds. And everyone could see that Zach fights at a very high level when he quickly beat Aaron Pico.”
Moises (9-1) gets another chance to strengthen his case for the UFC call this Friday, when he meets Robert Watley (7-1) for LFA’s inaugural 155-pound title. The scrap headlines LFA 17, which airs on AXS TV from Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, N.C.
While Moises sees Watley as “a good fighter,” the Brazilian simply believes he’s the better man when it comes to striking, wrestling, stamina and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In fact, confident that he’s the “toughest and most complete” fighter Watley has ever come across, Moises doesn’t seem all that worried.
“I’m sure I’ll end the fight before the final bell,” Moises said.
After putting in the work along the world-class coaches and training partners of Florida-based American Top Team, Moises is approaching Friday as just another day at the office. And once that’s over with?
“After another victory and my fourth belt, I’d like to know if I’ll get the opportunity to fight in the UFC, where I already deserve to be,” Moises said.
For more on LFA 17, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.
Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie