ONE Championship Superstars Make Their Picks: Moraes Vs. Johnson

Apr 6, 2021

The biggest flyweight fight in mixed martial arts history is upon us.

This Wednesday, 7 April, ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes will defend his gold against the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, in the main event of “ONE on TNT I.”

For his part, Moraes has been the most dominant flyweight in ONE Championship history. The Brazilian star owns an 18-3 slate and holds the record for most finishes (six) and World Title victories (six) in the division.

Meanwhile, Johnson earned his GOAT moniker by winning the Flyweight World Title in North America’s biggest organization and defending it a record-setting 11 times. He then joined ONE and defeated three elite talents to claim the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship.

Before these two flyweight titans throw down on U.S. prime-time television this Wednesday, we asked their fellow ONE Championship fighters to break down the matchup and predict the outcome.

Martin ‘The Situ-Asian’ Nguyen

Martin Nguyen poses in the Be Like Water tee from the ONE X Bruce Lee Collection from ONE.SHOP!

“This match is huge. You know they’re both very well-experienced, and they have the factors that could beat each other. This is a very exciting match – Adriano Moraes proving to the world that he’s the best in the world against the guy who’s proven that many times in DJ.

“Someone like DJ, who’s defended their World Title 11 plus times – that is very hard to do, and he’s done it consecutively and shown that he’s one of the best in the world. So, I mean, when it comes to being one of the best in the world, yeah, DJ is up there.

“[But] Adriano Moraes is no joke. He is the real deal. I believe this will probably be one of the hardest fights that DJ will ever have.”

Tatsumitsu ‘The Sweeper’ Wada

Japanese flyweight star Tatsumitsu Wada stands in the corner

“I forecast that the first two rounds will be competitive, but from the third round on, DJ will be in control of the fight and will have the advantage. The point to watch out for is that DJ’s momentum won’t drop throughout the entire round.

“I think DJ will win. The reason is that I can’t imagine Adriano attacking DJ. On the other hand, I can imagine DJ landing takedowns and [taking] control.”

Yuya ‘Little Piranha’ Wakamatsu

Japan's Yuya Wakamatsu jumps as he is introduced at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES in Manila

“I think everyone believes DJ will win, but Moraes is also very strong, so I think it’s a fight that either fighter can win. Both fighters are world-class in both the striking and ground games, so I think this will be a real top-class mixed martial arts fight.

“I would rather say Moraes [will win] because he’s not that easy to beat. I expect him to beat DJ with the pride of a ONE athlete.”

Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke

Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke

“Adriano has a bigger body structure than Demetrious and has very quick movement, especially with the ground game. Demetrious is also superb. He is quick and very technical.

“They both are good at striking and the ground game. It depends on what happens during the fight and who has the better preparation. I think if this fight goes on striking, Demetrious would have the advantage and will be on fire. But I think Demetrious will win by points.”

Arjan ‘Singh’ Bhullar

Indian mixed martial artist Arjan Bhullar enters the arena for his debut

“I’m very excited for this flyweight fight. Adriano is a tough fighter. He has a great opportunity to make his mark on the sport by beating the GOAT live on TNT.

“But the GOAT is the GOAT for a reason. There’s too many ways he can win. You just can’t bet against him, and to be able to do it on such a big platform will be amazing to see for him and the company.”

Gurdarshan ‘Saint Lion’ Mangat

The top pound-for-pound Indian mixed martial artist, Gurdarshan Mangat

“I am very excited about this match. First of all, it’s in my weight class, so I’m always paying more attention. Also, we now have the possibility [to see] one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the world in ONE.

“To fight DJ isn’t just fighting someone in your weight class. It’s fighting the Michael Jordan or the Kobe Bryant of the game. I think Adriano might be the longest opponent DJ has faced, so that might pose new problems. But just the well-rounded specimen DJ is and the game plan that he and his team come up with, I can never bet against that.

“I’ve trained next to DJ in the past, and I’ve witnessed it. I got DJ by stoppage in the later rounds or a decision victory. DJ picks up the pace as rounds go on. He hasn’t been used to fighting three-round fights because he starts truly shining from rounds three to five, so now we will see that.”

Ritu ‘The Indian Tigress’ Phogat

Indian martial artist Ritu Phogat prays before her upcoming bout

“I am excited as we will get to see two fantastic martial artists battle it out. There is so much to learn from the both of them. I have my money on ‘Mighty Mouse.’”

Yoshihiro ‘Sexyama’ Akiyama

Yoshihiro Akiyama celebrates his win against Sherif Mohamed at ONE KING OF THE JUNGLE

“They’re both great athletes, but don’t miss DJ’s speed from the tackle to get [the fight] to the ground. He has a superhuman type of movement.

“I think DJ will win because he has the experience of being a World Champion, and he’s getting stronger all the time, so he’s still unstoppable.”

Read more: ONE Championship Superstars Make Their Picks: Alvarez Vs. Lapicus

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