Adriano Moraes has been the flyweight division’s most dominant force for the past eight years, so he’s never fazed when a new challenger starts to talk the talk.
The rising Japanese challenger appears supremely confident, insisting he will knock out the champ in their showdown at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
But for Moraes, this is another high-profile platform where he can prove himself as the top dog – despite the noisy barks of those wanting to take his place.
The Brazilian superstar said:
“ONE X will be the biggest card ever from ONE Championship. I was the organization’s first flyweight World Champion, and to be able to defend my title at ONE’s 10-year anniversary show is an honor. And even more with the chance to shut up this big mouth.
“[The callouts] don’t bother me. When you are champion, these things happen. Everyone wants your head. Everyone wants the title as that is the main objective of fighters. As a champion, I take it as a challenge. I love challenges, so I’ll go all out to shut his mouth.”
Though Wakamatsu’s run of victories finally secured this World Title fight, his constant callouts did manage to catch “Mikinho’s” attention.
As a result, the 33-year-old Sao Paulo native has been ready to face “Little Piranha” for a while, and he wants to make the Japanese slugger regret chasing this battle.
“We predicted this fight against Yuya Wakamatsu [would happen] because he doesn’t take my name out of his mouth. He won some fights with ugly performances, and at the end, he always asked for a title fight. But he’s coming off good victories now, and I believe he deserves to fight for the title.
“He’s a tough fighter but, come on, isn’t this what he wanted? Now, the time has come for him to get what he’s always asked for.”
Adriano Moraes Says He Can Defeat Yuya Wakamatsu Anywhere
Flyweight king Adriano Moraes might think Yuya Wakamatsu has a lot to say, but he also realizes the World Title challenger can back it up inside the Circle.
The 27-year-old from Tribe Tokyo MMA has 11 knockouts in 15 career victories, and he also showcased an improved ground game in recent wins – something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by “Mikinho.”
“Wakamatsu is a young fighter, a prospect. He has a very strong right hand, which he likes to unleash in fights. I believe those are his strengths – his fast hands, and his knockout power.
“I watched his last fight (a dominant decision over Hu Yong). He fought very well. He didn’t finish, but it was a very good fight. He showed that he has evolved a lot in grappling.”
Still, the defending titleholder is rightfully confident.
Armed with those facts, the American Top Team representative plans to dictate Saturday’s match in every area and push Wakamatsu to his breaking point.
“Today, I am a much more complete athlete, and I managed to show that in my last fight. My right hand is heavy, and I believe I’m more skilled at striking than he is. It’s going to be a big fight because I’m going to stand up to him, and I’m going to take him to a place he never thought he’d be.
“All my opponents always say they’re going to knock me out. He’s just one more. I’ve never been knocked out and I don’t believe it will happen in this fight. I’m going after him with everything. Let’s see if he can handle the pressure.
“I’m going to be looking for the opportunities that appear to finish the fight as quickly as possible, either by submission or knockout.”