Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes Preview
Reigning king Adriano Moraes will finally defend the gold against top-ranked contender Demetrious Johnson in the main event of a stacked six-bout card.
But how did each man get to this stage? Let’s begin with the defending World Champion.
Moraes debuted in ONE back in 2013 as an undefeated up-and-comer but quickly suffered his first loss by split decision to Yusup Saadulaev. Moraes would return quickly and get back in the win column, foreshadowing the resilient Brazilian’s calling card.
After back-to-back wins, “Mikinho” met Geje Eustaquio for the vacant flyweight title, and with a second-round guillotine, Moraes claimed his first World Championship.
The Brazilian grappler would defend the title once but lost the gold in a close split decision battle with Kairat Akhmetov. Once again, Moraes quickly got back on the proverbial horse and picked up a win before challenging Tilek Batyrov for the vacant flyweight crown.
After another submission win in a title bout, “Mikinho” got a chance at redemption and unified the titles with a unanimous decision win over Akhmetov. After a successful title defense against Danny Kingad, Moraes found himself on the losing end of yet another split decision, this time against Eustaquio.
But true to form, Moraes returned and got his World Championship back.
The determination to return better is the hallmark of a true champion, and that is what Moraes wears proudly on his sleeve. At each setback, the ONE Flyweight World Champion returned better than before.
As for Demetrious Johnson, the road has been filled with nothing but Ws.
“Mighty Mouse” debuted in ONE in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
In the quarter-finals, Johnson met Yuya Wakamatsu. Although he notched a second-round submission, Johnson was met with stiff opposition in the first round of his promotional debut. And in his semi-final bout, he would be forced to go a full 15 minutes against Tatsumitsu Wada.
In the final, Johnson met Danny Kingad.
Kingad was a game opponent, but the crisp technical brilliance of Johnson was too much. The growing legend of “Mighty Mouse” added another title to his collection and earned him a World Title shot against Moraes.
And that is where we are ahead of ONE on TNT I.
It is a main event between a contender who has showcased his dominance over the years with awe-inspiring brilliance through his wrestling, submissions, and striking versus a resilient World Champion who does not know what it means to quit.
The primetime stage is a fitting setting for this showdown of world-class competitors and gives both men a massive opportunity. Adriano Moraes wants to shut down Demetrious Johnson and announce his presence to the American fans while the Washington resident hopes to establish a global legacy.
This is one of 2021’s biggest bouts, and it is a must-see event.
ONE on TNT I airs on TNT live on Wednesday, April 7, at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.
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