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3 Potential Opponents For Demetrious Johnson First ONE Flyweight World Title Defense

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Demetrious Johnson closed the show on ONE Championship’s Prime Video debut in epic fashion with his fourth-round knockout of Adriano Moraes at ONE on Prime Video 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II.

Now that he has the gold, the attention will turn to who challenges “Mighty Mouse” next.

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The flyweight division is stacked with talent, and there is also a possible superfight lingering as well. And there is no better time than now to examine those possibilities.

Here is a look at three exciting options for Johnson’s next match inside the Circle.

Adriano Moraes

A trilogy match makes sense on paper. The series is tied 1-1, with both scoring knockouts via a knee strike, and Adriano Moraes did start the rematch by controlling the first two rounds.

Perhaps more importantly, Moraes has never lost back-to-back matches. Additionally, each time he has lost the ONE Flyweight World Championship, he has recaptured the gold.

So why shouldn’t he get a chance to avenge the defeat? Why shouldn’t this flyweight rivalry continue with a third chapter?

If this bout gets run back immediately, there is a clear justification for it. Johnson vs. Moraes III would be another incredibly exciting installment and would have a lot of intrigue into how the third match would play out.

Although a clear-cut knockout finish may give some pause, it is a possibility we see it next.

Kairat Akhmetov

If not Moraes, then Kairat Akhmetov is next-in-line for a shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship.

The former king of the division is currently riding an impressive five-bout win streak in ONE.

Many thought Johnson and Akhmetov would meet in the final of the 2019 ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, but after a victory over Reece McLaren, Akhmetov had to withdraw from the tournament. So we still have yet to see these two collide inside the Circle.

Given the missed opportunity in 2019 and Akhmetov’s current win streak, the #2-ranked flyweight contender seems like the most obvious choice.

John Lineker

While there are no signs from Johnson or ONE that a potential superfight is on the table, ONE Bantamweight World Champion John Lineker has his eye on the Washington native.

Lineker spent years chasing Johnson, but he was never able to secure a shot at “Mighty Mouse” in America. Now he holds the bantamweight gold, and with Johnson grabbing the flyweight crown, there is a possibility that the stars could be aligning for a matchup fans always wanted.

“Hands of Stone” told Sherdog in June that he would accept a superfight against Johnson.

Would the bout be for Johnson’s gold? Would “Mighty Mouse” compete at bantamweight? Or would it be a true superfight at a catchweight with nobody’s title up for grabs?

While there is no current smoke surrounding this matchup, and both champions having hungry contenders waiting, there is now an opportunity to strike while the iron is hot on one of the biggest matches we never got to see.

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