The greatest flyweight of all time, one of the best pound-for-pound ever, Demetrious Johnson takes on another challenge in his already illustrious career as he tries to snatch the ONE Flyweight World Title from the champion, Adriano Moraes. The fight was originally booked in April last year but was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Demetrious Johnson vs Adriano Moraes is set to headline the very stacked ONE on TNT I event. This event marks in the promotion’s history as the first-ever card promoted in the United States of America. It will also be Demetrious’ return to fighting in the country since being traded to ONE Championship.
Demetrious Johnson vs Adriano Moraes Preview
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (30-3-1) is indubitably the best flyweight of all time and he is also widely regarded as one of the pound-for-pound GOATs. Demetrious has broken all-time records that still stand firm to this date, including the UFC’s best with 11 consecutive world title defenses.
To have been reigning dominantly for years, Demetrious Johnson’s persistence and discipline are evident as the main driver for his success. The work and grind just don’t stop for this man. Even when sitting at the top, he still has honed his craft and perfectly molded every aspect of his game. Demetrious is one of few fighters that are excellently well-rounded, and it’s hard to find any holes in his game. It is easy to say that he is an epitome of a perfect fighter.
With Demetrious’ achievements and resume, he could have easily been granted the ONE flyweight world title in his promotional debut. However, this was not the case for him as he opted to work his way up. And that is what he just did, quickly. In just a span of seven months, Demetrious quickly amassed victories over Yuya Wakamatsu, Tatsumitsu Wada, and Danny Kingad, en route to winning the ONE Championship Flyweight Grand-Prix and being granted the title shot.
Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes (18-3-0) is considered the best flyweight in the promotion’s history and has been the perennial king of this ONE Championship’s division. Since capturing the inaugural title back in 2014, he has been a formidable and impressive champion. Unfortunately in each of his three losses, Adriano has been on the bad end of split decisions. But, he has avenged all of his losses and regained his title against the ones who took it away from him.
In Adriano Moraes’ three title reigns, he has beaten the best fighters who stood up in the division; Kairat Akhmetov, Danny Kingad, and Geje Eustaquio (twice). It seems that even being the champion, he is seen as the underdog for this fight. This shouldn’t be a surprise since Adriano doesn’t have much international fame and he is facing a world-renowned fighter at the same time. However, Adriano Moraes is not to be dealt easily with. Adriano is extremely underrated but skill-wise can comparably be at par with the world’s bests.
One of the reasons why Adriano Moraes might possibly be up in the toughest fights of Demetrious Johnson’s career, is that he trains with the top athletes in the world. Fighting out of the American Top Team, Adriano trains with the likes of Jorge Masvidal and Dustin Poirier. Having the caliber of his training is no joke, being significantly bigger and longer just adds to his advantages coming into this fight.
This match is between the best flyweight of all-time versus the ONE Championship’s undisputed flyweight champion. On paper, with all his accomplishments against the best of the best, it is easy to assume that Demetrious Johnson gets it done. However, I tell you, especially to those who haven’t been tuning in to ONE Championship, Adriano Moraes is someone who shouldn’t be overlooked.
Thinking that ONE Championship fighters are inferior to that of the UFC is plainly ignorant. In the Danny Kingad fight, we saw a hectic and never-ending pace where both men scrambled a lot. Demetrious’ was put flat on his back in times and he ended up with a swollen eye. Tatsumitsu Wada even got a very dangerous backpack position over Demetrious for a brief period. All of Demetrious’ wins in the promotion were hard-fought and he himself recognized that ONE Championship is home to the best flyweights in the world.
One common denominator in this Demetrious Johnson vs Adriano Moraes fight is the previously mentioned Danny Kingad. While Demetrious took three rounds to earn the win, Adriano just needed one round to finish it. Adriano finished Kingad with a rear-naked choke just seconds left in the first round. If Demetrious wasn’t able to dominantly grapple and wrestle Kingad, why was Adriano able to do so? This speaks a lot about how the fight might just go.
Yes, Demetrious is excellent in every aspect of mixed martial arts. Demetrious Johnson imposes more of a freestyle wrestling approach to his ground game where he uses technique and strength to advance to better positions. Adriano isn’t slack in this area either. Given his size in the flyweight division, Adriano Moraes is a legit threat in the ground. Statistically, Both men have outstanding takedown offense and defense. However, I think that Adriano Moraes, the jiu-jitsu black belter, is just better in terms of pure grappling. But, don’t be surprised if Demetrious wins it on the ground because GOATs do GOAT things always.
On the standup, I’d comfortably give the advantage to Demetrious Johnson. Adriano has decent striking, often having the bulk of his strikes being jabs, leg kicks, and body kicks. As a grappler by core, Adriano uses these as set-ups for his takedown attempts. But between both men, Demetrious is the one who would be delighted to keep the fight on the stand-up for the whole 25 minutes. Demetrious Johnson has always displayed his quick striking and elusive movement. He can land fast punches and kicks at different angles then quickly escape to be out of an opponent’s reach.
With the skillset that both fighters present, anything can happen, and just one mistake can cost them the fight. Interestingly, both men have never been submitted or knocked out in their careers. In this fight, I am slightly leaning toward Demetrious Johnson. He has always made the perfect adjustments for fights. His incredible stamina, paired with his relentless and dynamic work rate, will be the deciding factor. This is the biggest test in Adriano Moraes’ career, but there is a reason why Demetrious is called the best flyweight in the world and he will show why!
Demetrious Johnson vs Adriano Moraes Prediction: Demetrious Johnson via Decision
Featured Images Credits to ONE Championship
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