Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes proved that he is the best flyweight in the world with an incredible second-round knockout of the GOAT, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, at “ONE on TNT I” on Wednesday, 7 April.
The division’s reigning king may have entered this ONE Flyweight World Championship fight as an underdog, but he left with the belt still wrapped around his waist after handing Johnson the first stoppage loss of his legendary career.
Both men played their roles as expected in the early running of round one.
The defending World Champion stayed light on his feet, kept his distance, and slammed in some hard low kicks, while the challenger tried to close the distance behind his punches. Johnson did briefly force Moraes to the Circle Wall to score with knees, but the Brazilian managed to turn and back away.
The biggest moment of the frame came when “Mikinho” caught his rival’s kick and pulled guard to attack for a leg lock. From there, he took top position, where he controlled the American and chopped with short right hands. However, “Mighty Mouse” stayed busy and tried to strike with punches and elbows from his back.
There was extra intent from both corners as they stepped out for round two.
Moraes probed with kicks, while Johnson tried to find his range with straight punches. “Mighty Mouse,” however, struggled to traverse the distance on his rangier foe. The Washington native then tested the waters with a double-leg takedown attempt, but “Mikinho” was well-prepared and fended it off early.
The Brazilian continued to circle and “Mighty Mouse” gave chase, but that ultimately led to his downfall. The American Top Team representative threw a right knee, which Johnson tried to catch but couldn’t keep hold of. However, he saw his chance to close the distance and came forward with punches.
As he did, the Brazilian clocked him with a well-timed right uppercut that dropped the flyweight legend to the canvas. Johnson tried to battle up with an underhook, but Moraes scored with a clean left knee to the jaw and then a volley of rapid punches that separated the American from his senses.
The referee was quick to wave off the action at the 2:24 mark of the second frame, giving Moraes a career-defining KO.
With his win over the man many consider the greatest of all time, “Mikinho” pushed his impeccable record to 19-3 and showed that he is the best flyweight on the planet right now.
“This is a dream come true. I’m really working hard every single day. I don’t have the words to describe this moment. We did it,” the Brazilian said in his post-fight interview.
“It’s not a surprise for me because I’ve been working with the best guys in the world. I’m not the best, I’m just different. Today, it worked out. I’m so happy.”