UFC lightweight prospect Thiago Moises will not change his ways ahead of his first-ever main event at UFC Vegas 31. Paired up against the man Khabib Nurmagomedov himself said would take his place in the division, Islam Makhachev, the Brazilian sees the fight as just another day in the office.
In an interview with Super Lutas, Moises claimed to not care about Islam’s hype ahead of their clash. In fact, Thiago prefers to focus on what he will bring to the table, and if all goes according to plan, that will be a highlight reel knockout finish.
“I’m indifferent to that (Islam’s hype). I try to evolve everyday as an athlete and as a person. I’m going out there do my best. I’ll do my job no matter if it’s Islam, Michael Johnson or Alexander Hernandez. The most important thing is to go out there and do my best.”
“I picture myself putting a lot of pressure right from the start,” Moises continued. “Throwing a lot of strikes, making good use of my boxing and my kicks. I picture Makhachev walking backwards and when he tries to go for a takedown, I’ll defend it well. I’ll use my boxing, I will hurt him on the feet and I’ll finish the fight with a knockout. With a kick or a straight punch.”
Originally, Moises was going to take on Makhachev in a three-round fight as Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez were set to headline the card. However, the former featherweight champion was forced out of the card due to injury and the lightweights got bumped to the main event. The change brought a few adjustments to the Brazilian’s camp, but he was ecstatic about it when he first heard the news.
“When they told me I’d be in the main event, I was really happy. It gave me an extra dose of adrenaline. However, I still see this fight as any other. It makes no difference to me if it’s the main event or the first fight of the card. I’m going out there and I’ll do my best to impose my gameplan and focus on what I have to do in the Octagon.”
“In fact, my strategy is still the same.” Thiago continued. “We just had to make a few adjustments in camp. We had to increase the number of rounds in the sparring sessions, but this was a change that took us both by surprise. We were both training for three rounds and now it’s going to be five. I’ve had this experience three times before when I was fighting for LFA, so I believe I may have an edge. That’s it, though. It’s just 10 more minutes.”
Currently on a three-fight winning streak, Moises (15=4) defeated veterans Michael Johnson and Bobby Green, as well as Alexander Hernandez in his most recent outing back in February. The 26-year-old’s last loss dates back to August 2019, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Damir Ismagulov.
Now, Moises is expected to take on Makhachev at UFC Vegas 31’s main event. The card is set to be held at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, on July 17.