‘I Was Born To Have This ONE Championship Belt’ – Adriano Moraes Looks Forward To A Busy 2023
Former eight-time ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes may have ended 2022 on a sour note, but he learned plenty of lessons along the way and plans to bring them into 2023.
The Brazilian superstar kicked off his year as the divisional king and reasserted his dominance with a thrilling third-round submission victory over Japanese knockout artist Yuya Wakamatsu at ONE X in March.
But five months later, Moraes experienced the biggest defeat of his 11-year career – a knockout loss to rival and all-time MMA GOAT Demetrious Johnson at ONE on Prime Video 1, which cost him the ONE Flyweight World Title. It also marked the first and only time he has ever been finished.
As soul-crushing as that defeat was, “Mikinho” handled it well, knowing that losses are essentially unavoidable in the high-stakes game that is world-class MMA.
He told ONEFC.com:
“I suffered the first knockout defeat of my career. This had never happened to me. But as I’ve been in this sport for a long time, I knew it could happen to me someday. I was very upset with this defeat, but despite everything, I am aware that I did my best.”
Some MMA fighters may spend months agonizing over such a devastating setback and step away from the gym for an extended period of time, but Moraes isn’t one of those athletes.
Instead, the 34-year-old got right back to work, already preparing for his highly anticipated trilogy bout with Johnson in the main event of ONE’s historic U.S. debut show, ONE on Prime Video 10.
“After the defeat, I did what I always do, regardless of whether I won or lost the fight. I took time for myself to recover, to absorb everything that happened in the fight, and take some lessons. Then I went back to the academy to fix some mistakes, analyze some details of my game, and start all over again.”
Adriano Moraes Wants To Fight In Brazil In 2023
With 2022 in the rearview mirror, Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes is looking ahead, especially to his showdown with Demetrious Johnson at ONE on Prime Video 10 in Broomfield, Colorado. Naturally, the former flyweight king aims to regain his belt and secure a lifetime 2-1 advantage over “Mighty Mouse.”
But when he envisions his ideal 2023, “Mikinho” hopes for much more than yet another ONE Flyweight World Title victory. With rumors swirling about ONE Championship potentially touching down in Brazil, he dreams of returning to his home country to compete in front of his compatriots.
“The perfect schedule would be one with a lot of work, a lot of health, a lot of battles, and a lot of travel so that our work is even more recognized in the four corners of the world. Also, to recover the ONE Championship Title and have a super-fight in the second half of the year. And, who knows, be part of the first ONE Championship card in Brazil.”
But first things first: he is entirely focused on reclaiming the 26 pounds of gold he previously wore around his waist.
As a matter of fact, that’s the top thing on his wishlist for the holiday season. And if he were to get a ticket to see one of his favorite bands perform live, then that would be the icing on the cake.
“As a Christmas present, I would very much like to get my title back. I believe I was born to have this ONE Championship belt. And the other gift that I would really like to win is a ticket to go to a live Jamiroquai concert.”