Following his emphatic win and instantly iconic post-fight promo at UFC 281, Brazilian MMA veteran Renato Moicana revealed how playing Call of Duty online helped him learn English.
Over the past weekend at the UFC’s takeover of Madison Square Garden, Renato Moicano stole the show with an unforgettable post-fight interview. Sharing the cage with Joe Rogan, Moicano was loud, excited, and clearly wanted to secure a bonus payment for his first-round submission of Brad Riddell. “Moicano wants money” he repeated to thunderous applause.
The promo quickly went viral, exploding across social media and boosting his following a great deal. “It was one of the great post-fight interviews of all time,” as Ariel Helwani put it during a November 17 episode of The MMA Hour. However, learning to communicate in such a way didn’t happen overnight for the Brazilian star.
“It took a long time to learn English,” he told Helwani during their interview. Having been in the UFC since 2014, many were surprised to see this new side of the fighter, one with boundless charisma, after years of mostly flying under the radar.
“It was very hard for me to speak English in the beginning,” he continued. “But [over] the last couple of years, I have been trying to work on my English and trying to get better. It’s not perfect yet but at least I can express myself the way I want.”
At first, he tried to improve his understanding of the language through conversations at the gym with “friends and other fighters. But [our] team has so many Brazilians, it’s hard.” That’s when he turned to online games as a solution.
“I started playing games like Call of Duty. I started to talk with people in the games and I started to get better. I know it’s not perfect, but it’s getting better.”
Regardless of whether he’s a trash talker or just wanting to strategize with his teammates, chatting in multiplayer games like CoD has helped improve his English vocabulary over time. Now, he’s confident enough to cut explosive promos in post-fight interviews and in doing so, has captivated the UFC audience.