Demetrious Johnson Knocks Out Adriano Moraes In Rematch, Claims ONE Flyweight World Title
Demetrious Johnson earned his redemption for the lone stoppage loss of his MMA career when he challenged Adriano Moraes in a ONE Flyweight World Championship rematch on Friday, August 26.
Topping the massive ONE on Prime Video 1 card, which was broadcast live in U.S. primetime, the iconic “Mighty Mouse” wobbled ONE’s most dominant flyweight of all time in the fourth round and then finished him with a knee to the head to level the rivalry with a sense of poetic justice.
Despite Johnson’s assertions that the defending World Champion would run from him, both men engaged early in round one at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, swapping kicks and taking turns to push forward.
The biggest moment of the opening frame came when “Mikinho” caught a kick from the challenger and drove him to the canvas. The BJJ black belt stayed tight when he followed his rival down, constantly looking to pass and unloading short elbows when he got the chance.
However, it was a sneaky elbow from “Mighty Mouse” on the bottom that did the most damage, opening up a cut over Moraes’ left eye.
In round two, Johnson tried to punch his way in, but he struggled with his opponent’s reach advantage. A whipping high kick from the Brazilian clipped the American, and he looked momentarily stunned as “Mikinho” poured on the pressure.
Trying to find some time to breathe, “Mighty Mouse” shot for a double-leg takedown, but Moraes fended it off before getting to the front headlock position and delivering knees to the head of his turtled foe.
Johnson got to his feet and pressured “Mikinho” to the Circle Wall. But when Moraes dumped him to the canvas and attempted a knee to the head, it became a mirror image of round one, with the World Champion working from the top and the challenger trying to strike from his back.
The third round offered a noticeably different complexion, as Johnson found much more success cutting off the Circle. He pressed behind his punches and found a home for his left hook and overhand right.
Brimming with confidence, “Mighty Mouse’s” punches continued to rack up damage on his opponent’s face.
Moraes looked more aggressive as the championship rounds got underway, and he pushed to close the distance. Johnson stayed busy with knees when he was pressed against the Circle Wall, but the flyweight king tagged him with some accurate elbows.
Just as it seemed like “Mikinho” could swing the momentum in his favor again, the American veteran blasted him with a hard overhand right that sent him stumbling backward. As he hit the Circle Wall, Johnson timed a crunching left knee to the head perfectly, and it ended the match instantly.
The finish came at 3:50 of the fourth stanza, earning “Mighty Mouse” the ONE Flyweight World Championship at the second time of asking, and his 13th World Title win. It also served as Moraes’ first stoppage loss of his illustrious career.
At 31-4-1 and with a new belt over his shoulder, Johnson told Mitch Chilson post-fight:
“I truly believe that I’m still getting better at 36, because of the team that I surround myself with.
“It was a very hard camp [working on this game plan], just walking him down, walking him down, eating shots. I just kept on working, man. It went great.”