‘Grateful For Everything’ – Adriano Moraes Reflects On Life-Changing Trilogy With Demetrious Johnson
Former ONE Flyweight MMA World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes isn’t dwelling on his most recent defeat.
This past May at ONE’s blockbuster debut on U.S. soil, the Brazilian superstar suffered a hard-fought decision loss to reigning divisional kingpin Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, closing out the pair’s rivalry in the American legend’s favor.
Now with plenty of time to reflect back on his performance at ONE Fight Night 10, Moraes is able to see where he went wrong.
He told onefc.com:
“I believe I held back too much. I was waiting for the right moment to perform some actions in the fight and ended up waiting too long. I held back a lot and ended up not doing everything I wanted to do in this fight, unfortunately.”
“Mikinho” and “Mighty Mouse” engaged in one of the most important and dramatic trilogies in the history of MMA, with each man scoring an epic knockout victory in the first two fights.
And though he ultimately came up short in their high-stakes rubber match, Moraes says he is thankful to have competed in three World Title main events against the MMA GOAT:
“Sharing the cage with DJ was a great experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I learned a lot from him.”
Looking back on his last matchup with Johnson, the 35-year-old noticed some technical and tactical areas for improvement – namely, the need to show more aggression in the most critical moments.
But beyond those specific areas for growth, Moraes believes the most important thing he learned from “Mighty Mouse” was how to accept defeat and keep moving forward.
“Regardless of victory or defeat, the lesson that remains is to recognize that life has these things, that one day you are on top, and the next you are at the bottom. One day you are the champion, and the next you are the contender. But you have to always be grateful for everything.”
Moraes Says Reece McLaren ‘Makes Some Sense’ As Next Opponent
Adriano Moraes is now the division’s #1-ranked contender and ready to return to action and prove he still belongs among the flyweight elite.
To that end, he’s setting his sights on a fellow top-five contender who suffered his own loss at ONE Fight Night 10 – Australian submission ace and #4-ranked Reece “Lightning” McLaren.
“ONE’s flyweight division is very strong. It has many strong contenders. But I believe that a fight against Reece McLaren makes some sense, as we were defeated in the same event. So I think he could be my next opponent. But I’m fine, ready for the next one, and whoever comes is a profit for me.”
Whether his return comes against McLaren or another one of the flyweight MMA division’s top athletes, Moraes is itching to compete in the near future.
Because now that he no longer wears 26 pounds of gold around his waist, the Brazilian veteran is eager to stay even more active and take part in as many exciting matchups as possible.
“When you are a champion, you end up fighting less. When you’re not the champion, which is the good part, you can already ask for the next opponent. That’s my mindset now. I want to do as many fights as possible. So hopefully I’ll be back in the cage soon. That’s my wish.”