In their first outing last year, Moraes scored a second-round KO of the #1-ranked contender to solidify his spot at the top of the flyweight division and win the award for 2021 MMA Knockout of the Year.
However, he’s not the only Brazilian to find success in ONE Championship. Many of Moraes’ compatriots have stormed the Circle and either dominated their respective divisions or dazzled in their debuts.
That said, let’s look at seven Brazilian fighters fans should be paying attention to right now.
#1 Adriano Moraes
Moraes is a seven-time ONE Flyweight World Champion and one of the few men on the planet to have defeated one of the best fighters of all time in Johnson.
Moraes has been a martial artist since the age of seven, first practicing judo and capoeira before transitioning to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As a black belt, nearly half of Moraes’s wins have come by way of submission.
Moreover, some of his most notable World Title defenses include submitting #4-ranked Danny “The King” Kingad by rear-naked choke and Eugene Toquero by brabo choke, both of which happened moments into the first round.
Next on the list is a fellow World Champion who sits just a weight class above him.
#2 John Lineker
John “Hands of Stone” Lineker rightly deserves his nickname because 17 of his 35 wins came by way of knockout. Lineker also has a perfect 4-0 record in the Circle and recently earned the ONE Bantamweight World Championship at ONE: LIGHTS OUT.
After the Brazilian fighter battled then-titleholder Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes for one round, he knocked his compatriot out in the second canto with a left hook.
Out of the 70 possible minutes Lineker could have spent inside the ONE Circle, he has needed less than half that time to achieve his current record.
However, while Lineker’s finishing rate in ONE is impressive, his former foe has accomplished almost three times that amount over his storied career.
#3 Bibiano Fernandes
Fernandes is an 11-time ONE Bantamweight World Champion with an accomplished MMA career. Most of his fights have also ended early.
In the ONE Circle, he has had five finishes, bringing his total to 11 overall. “The Flash” has submitted the likes of “Ottogi” Dae Hwan Kim and former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon using his fifth-degree BJJ black belt skills.
One of his most memorable fights in ONE came against former two-division ONE World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen. The two pushed the pace and landed a flurry of fast strikes on one another, but Fernandes won by split decision, accumulating an impressive 14-fight winning streak at the time.
Considered Brazilian martial arts royalty, “The Flash” laid a path for many of his compatriots to follow, including the next bantamweight fighter on this list.
#4 Fabricio Andrade
Fourth-ranked Fabricio Andrade is barely in his mid-20s but has already made a splash in the ONE bantamweight division. Rightly dubbed “Wonder Boy,” he has more than 50 Muay Thai and MMA fights to his name and a flawless 5-0 record in the organization so far.
Moreover, just a few months earlier at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II, “Wonder Boy” secured a first-round TKO win when he unleashed a barrage of strikes on “The Underdog” Li Kai Wen after stunning him with a head kick.
While Andrade has already established himself as a dominant Brazilian in ONE, the next fighter on this list is looking to do the same.
#5 Dayane Cardoso
Dayane Cardoso jumped onto the strawweight scene after an incredible performance at ONE 156: Eersel vs. Sadikovic. In her ONE debut, Cardoso highlighted her dominance against an experienced Japanese opponent.
“Day Monster” defeated Ayaka “Zombie” Miura by TKO at the start of round two. This came after she controlled Miura in the clinch and landed heavy punches that her opponent couldn’t defend. That helped improve Cardoso’s record in mixed martial arts to 8-1 (1 NC).
Moreover, the 26-year-old fighter hails from Carioca Academy, where she has earned her purple belt in BJJ.
While “Day Monster” has already built an established MMA record, the next man on the list is just starting to construct his.
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida may have only three mixed martial arts bouts to his name, but the grappling legend is 138-14-1 in the sport he dominated.
The 17-time BJJ World Champion stormed the ONE Circle in September 2021, where he submitted fellow big man Anderson “Braddock” Silva in the first round. “Buchecha” followed that win up with a first-round submission victory of previously unbeaten “Mighty Warrior” Kang Ji Won.
Although he wants to take a slow and steady climb up the division, many fans think he’s ready for a top heavyweight.
#7 Allycia Hellen Rodrigues
While Allycia Hellen Rodrigues is only 23 years old, she started training when she was a young teenager in Brazil. She went on to become the Ayutthaya Miracle Champion after relocating to Thailand, defeating 12-time WMPF World Champion Thananchanok Kaewsamrit.
But no one expected the Brazilian to do what she did in her ONE debut. Rodrigues earned the ONE Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship in August 2020 at ONE: A NEW BREED versus Stamp Fairtex.
Rodrigues was quick with her counters and pressured Stamp in the clinch, a feat that few athletes have done. Despite her Thai opponent’s attempts to press back with punches, Rodrigues kept her defense solid and marched through Stamp’s strikes.
In the co-main event, ONE Women’s Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd will take on Lara Fernandez for the ONE Interim Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai World Title. The winner, most likely, will face Rodrigues to unify the belt.