UFC bantamweight Kris Moutinho wants to prove he’s not just a moving target ahead of his second bout in the UFC, as he gets ready to face Aaron Phillips at a UFC Fight Night card set for Oct. 23 in Las Vegas.

Moutinho took a short-notice fight for his first taste of UFC competition, ultimately losing to fan-favorite Sean O’Malley at UFC 264 this summer. Despite getting beat-up against O’Malley, Moutinho held his own and showcased incredible toughness under a barrage of pressure in his UFC debut.

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Moutinho gets another chance to prove he’s not just a human punching bag against Phillips and put his stamp on the UFC’s stacked bantamweight division.

“I didn’t have many injuries. My toe was a little banged up, and everything else was pretty good,” Moutinho said during a recent interview with MMA Junkie. “I’m not just a punching bag. I gotta get these wins and show everybody I’m worth more than just what they saw in the last fight.

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Moutinho arguably got more attention and respect from the fans following his TKO loss to O’Malley. Many around the MMA community, including UFC commentator and former heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, gave Moutinho props for his performance. Despite suffering a significant amount of damage in the fight, Moutinho protested with referee Herb Dean for stopping the bout with just 27 seconds left.

Moutinho earned the opportunity to fight in the UFC after a bit of an up-and-down tenure fighting in Cage Fury and CES, with a 9-4 record entering the O’Malley bout. He’s always been known as a volume striker who usually puts on strong performances in the cage, but faced easily his toughest test against O’Malley.

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Moutinho will have the chance to prove that he’s here to stay in the UFC when he faces Phillips next month.

What are your thoughts on UFC bantamweight Kris Moutinho after his gritty performance against Sean O’Malley?

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Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.