The 34-year-old Brazilian wants to finish “Mighty Mouse” once again and further cement his position as the division’s undisputed king.
Before this massive contest goes down during United States primetime, let’s get to know the reigning flyweight king a little better.
Here are five interesting facts about the man they call “Mikinho.”
#1 He’s Obsessed With Skateboarding
It’s not uncommon for martial artists to partake in other sports like football and basketball in their free time. But for Moraes, nothing beats a chance to zip around South Florida on his skateboard.
“Mikinho” first began skateboarding as a kid in his native Brazil. He continues to enjoy every minute of it, whether he’s relaxing his mind, learning new skills, or hanging out with the skating community.
The MMA superstar told ONE Championship:
“It’s a much quieter adrenaline rush [than MMA]. It’s an adrenaline rush made up of adventure. You surf on concrete streets, being able to do tricks. You and your skateboard become one person, a single subject. It’s pretty cool.”
#2 He’s Tight With ‘Buchecha’
Moraes loves to keep good company – especially in the combat sports world.
In fact, he’s a close friend and daily training partner of 17-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, who joined “Mikinho” at American Top Team in 2020.
The two Brazilians share a lot in common, especially their love for the grappling arts. Almeida is now one of the fastest-rising stars in ONE Championship’s heavyweight MMA division, and Moraes says he’s learned a lot from the BJJ legend.
He told ONE:
“When he arrived [at ATT], I already knew he was going to fight for ONE, so he came to ask me about the event. And then we started talking more and more, and our friendship started there.
“Even though he’s a heavyweight, he can roll very well with lighter athletes. He’s a very cool guy. He likes to teach, to learn. He’s a very friendly guy. We have a very similar personality, and I think that’s why we became great friends.”
#3 He Was Abandoned As A Baby
In April 1988, just days after his birth, Moraes’ biological mother left him on the rough streets of Brasilia, Brazil. The future MMA World Champion was eventually rescued and brought to an orphanage.
Three years later, Moraes left the orphanage and was adopted by Mirtes Moraes, who took care of him and raised him as her own.
Moraes says he owes everything Mirtes, who later enrolled the youngster in capoeira, judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and other martial arts disciplines – fueling his lifelong passion for combat sports.
He told ONE:
“She means everything to me. She is my idol. I did everything for her, and I continue to do everything for her, for this love.”
#4 His Only Defeats Have Come Via Split Decisions
With a professional record of 20-3, Moraes is one of the most dominant forces in ONE Championship, and undoubtedly one of the most talented fighters in the entire world.
His stellar slate includes four wins by knockout and a whopping 10 via submission.
Even more remarkable is that Moraes has never been finished or lost a fight via unanimous decision in a career that spans more than a decade.
Many fans and pundits also believed that Moraes would drop his flyweight strap to Johnson in their first meeting, given the American’s legendary pedigree.
However, “Mikinho” shocked the world when he turned the tables on “Mighty Mouse,” dealing DJ the first stoppage loss of his illustrious career.
#5 He’s The Most Dominant Flyweight In ONE History
Moraes has long ruled over ONE Championship’s flyweight MMA division – one of the deepest and most talented weight classes in the promotion. He’s faced the absolute best of the best throughout the years – and he’s usually come out on top.
While Eustaquio and Akhmetov enjoyed their own World Championship reigns after beating the Brazilian, they didn’t last very long, and “Mikinho” eventually exacted his revenge on both men.
Overall, Moraes has won eight ONE World Title fights, establishing himself as one of the most decorated competitors in promotional history.
He plans on extending that record and further establishing his dominance with another victory over Johnson in their massive rematch at ONE 161 this August.