Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes sits atop the ONE Championship flyweight mountain with an 18-3 record. After re-capturing the ONE Flyweight World Championship in January of 2019, Moraes got to sit back and watch the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix take place. Demetrious Johnson entered the promotion and took the Grand Prix crown. Now, the two are on a collision course to find out who the best in the world truly is.
But ONE recently announced the inaugural divisional rankings. Following the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix, it is time to look at where the division stands and who is on the precipice of earning the next shot after Johnson.
Here is a breakdown of the ONE flyweight rankings.
Kicking off the flyweight rankings is Reece “Lightning” McLaren. The Aussie had a rough start in 2019 during the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix losing to Kairat Akhmetov in the opening round, and then to Danny Kingad in the semi-finals after replacing Akhmetov due to injury. Both losses came by decision.
However, McLaren rebounded in December with a decisive first-round submission victory over Gurdarshan Mangat.
Closing 2019 on a high, McLaren showed that he is still in the mix after hard-fought losses against the division’s best. As the 28-year-old enters his athletic prime, he could be in for a quick move up the ranks.
Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu had a tough draw in the opening round of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. He had the distinction of welcoming Demetrious Johnson to the company.
Although he lost via submission in the second round, Wakamatsu was able to impress a global audience in the first round against one of the greatest athletes in the sport’s history. The learning experience for the 25-year-old paid off in his next two bouts.
Wakamatsu closed out 2019 with back-to-back victories. First, “Little Piranha” knocked out Geje Eustaquio at ONE: Dawn of Heroes, and he followed it up with a decision victory over Dae Hwan Kim at ONE: Century.
After defeating McLaren, Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov was not able to continue in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
He did not compete again in 2020.
However, with a 23-2 overall professional record, Akhmetov is one of the top contenders in the division. One of his two losses is to divisional king Moraes, by decision. Riding back-to-back wins, another victory could put Akhmetov in the driver’s seat for a shot at the winner of Johnson vs. Moraes.
#2 Danny Kingad
Danny “The King” Kingad could be the one to watch in the flyweight division. He made it to the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finals before dropping a decision to Johnson but has won seven of his last eight bouts.
He showed growth when he returned in 2020 with a decision win over Wei Xie at ONE: Fire & Fury.
The 14-2 pro has only lost to Johnson and Moraes. In each case, he returned better than before. Although he will need to earn a rematch with either opponent, Kingad has set himself up for redemption and possible glory.
As the greatest flyweight of all-time, it is no surprise that Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson found himself the top contender.
He holds a perfect 3-0 record in ONE after winning the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix and has a future date against Moraes for the gold. The 33-year-old continues to shine on a global platform and showcases his elite skills each time out.
Johnson vs. Moraes is one of the most compelling bouts on the docket for any promotion in 2020 and is a can’t-miss bout for any martial arts fan.