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HITMAN: 'I see the fight ending violently' Print E-mail
Written by Ben Pherson   
Saturday, 13 May 2017 20:31

Dan "The Hitman" Moret has been a fixture on the Minnesota fight scene since 2009, and the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product is set to return Friday night after being knocked out for the first time in his successful career.

Moret is looking to bounce back following his title-fight setback against Raoni Barcellos. He was scheduled to face Ashkan Morvari, but Morvari recently pulled out due to injury. Stepping up in his place is fellow ATT of Savage standout Brandon Jenkins. This showdown is set to take place at 155 pounds.

Moret, who's a Mankato native, has moved around a bit for this fight camp. But he's ready for the next step in his career, and that starts Friday night at LFA 12. Moret's showdown with Jenkins will air on live television via AXS-TV. The main card starts at 8 p.m. Tickets still are available for the show online at cagetix.com.

We caught up with Moret this week to find out how he's preparing for the matchup with Jenkins.

You had been scheduled to fight Ashkan Morvari on Friday, but Morvari pulled out recently, reportedly due to a rib injury. What are your thoughts on that injury and the last-minute switch?

MORET: Ashkan has always seemed like a good guy to me, so I'm sure the injury is severe enough for him to feel he can not fight. Rib injuries are tough because there is not

much you can do to train around it and be in shape to fight. With the camp I put in, the opponent switch means very little.

Now you're taking on one of Morvari's teammates, Brandon Jenkins. Morvari is a grinding wrestler, Jenkins is more of an in-your-face striker with an outstanding chin. How much does that change the game plan?

MORET: The game plan remains the same, I'm going to smash him the same way I have every other fight I have had at 155 pounds.

Jenkins brings an interesting skill set to the table. Can you compare him to someone else you've fought? And, how do you see this fight ending?

MORET: He is a tough guy, but has not fought the level of guys I have or that I am. I train with Nick Compton, who has a win over him and a similar body type. I see the fight ending violently.

After a few years at 145, you're moving back to 155 for this fight. Is the move back to 55 permanent and what prompted it?

MORET: This is a permanent move to 155. I won a lot of fights against a lot of high-level guys at 145, but I was never able to preform the same way I did at 155.

Friday night you're fighting on the same card as your lady friend, Linsey Williams. I've sat next to her during your fights, so I know what it's like for her ... but what's it like for you competing on the same card as your significant other?

MORET: It is actually a great experience being able to go through camp with someone that understands why I spend the hours I do at the gym and eat the way I do. She is an exciting fighter with a ton of potential, so it is fun for me.

You're coming off a loss for the RFA 145 title against Raoni Barcellos. It was the first time you've ever been finished in your long, successful career. How devastating was that setback and was it tough to regroup after being finished for the first time?

MORET: It is obviously not fun getting that close to the call up to the UFC, but it is part of this business. Fighting top guys from around the world, you have to come to terms with the fact that this can go badly. Regrouping after a loss has never been difficult for me because it is motivation to improve as a martial artist and a valuable experience I can build off of.

What's the best piece of MMA-related advice you've ever received? And what advice would you give a young buck just getting into the sport?

MORET: Seek out the best coaching and training environment you can. Let martial arts give you the experiences​ you deserve for your dedication and hard work. Lastly, be more than just a fighter, become a martial artist. You will thank yourself later in life.

Obviously you're still a regular at the Academy, but you've moved around quite a bit for fight camps recently. Did you train mainly in Minnesota for this camp? And what other gyms have you enjoyed and why?

MORET: I spent six weeks training at the MMA Lab in Arizona for this fight and had an incredible time there. The gym is a well-oiled machine dedicated to the fighters and provides everything necessary to prepare for high-level fights.

What has having RFA/LFA in Minnesota meant for you personally?

MORET: It has meant that I get to share this more personally with my family, friends and fans. Fighting televised fights is great, but there is nothing like having the people who have been there from the start getting to experience the big wins with you.

And you've been in this game for many years, where does Mystic rank among your favorite places to fight?

MORET: Mystic Lake Casino is definitely one of the top five venues I have fought in.

Is there any new talent out of Mankato or even the Academy who we should be watching for in the coming months?

MORET: There is some very talented young guys in Mankato that if training properly can be high level. I believe Sean Stebbins at the Academy is a young amateur fighter that will become a great professional. He knows how to work and is willing to do the hard parts of MMA many young guys now are not.

How has your game evolved, even from last fight to this weekend?

MORET: Being down at the MMA Lab in Arizona has exposed me to new coaching and techniques that have fit well into my skill set and physical abilities. Training and sparring with guys in the UFC has put my confidence at an all-time​ high.

At 30, you're no longer a spring chicken. Do you feel like this is your last run at a title and potentially the UFC, or has that thought not crossed your mind?

MORET: I feel I have a great chance to get into the UFC now that I am back fighting at full speed in my natural weight class.

What can fans expect from Dan Moret on Friday night?

MORET: A vintage Hitman savage beating.

And finally, who would you like to thank?

MORET: I would like to thank all those who have been in my corner from the start. My family, my friends, my coaches. John Crouch and everyone at the MMA Lab for all their help. Johnny Case for letting me stay with him during camp. My sponsors, Clint Adams Concrete, Rounders Bar & Grill, American Mortgage and Equity, Erickson Plumbing, Taco Loco, C. Block Inspections, Garden of Life, Gamma Labs, Combat Corner, War Tape, and Complete Nutrition Mankato.