ONE Championship is nearing its U.S. debut on Friday, May 5. The event has been building for months with incredible anticipation. Perhaps the main reason is the main event matchup between Demetrious Johnson and Adriano Moraes.
The two stars are even at one win each during their series. With the ONE Flyweight World Championship hanging in the balance at ONE Fight Night 10, there is a lot of intrigue heading into the bout. And the fellow participants on the docket are weighing in.
“I want to watch the Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes fight. They take turns winning and losing. The similarity is that both of them got knocked out with knees. This time, I think DJ will be the one [to win]. But he may win by decision, not by a finish, because both of them have experience and know each other very well,” Stamp Fairtex told ONE.
Roberto Soldic and Kairat Akhmetov echoed each other in saying that it’s a dead-even matchup, but only Soldic was keen to give a prediction. Although perhaps that is Akhmetov keeping the cards close to his vest, as he could score a title shot with a win over Reece McLaren.
“This fight is, like always, 50-50. I don’t know. It’s really hard. I’m thinking DJ a little bit, because I see a chance for him. But Adriano is also motivated, and he is tall. A really different opponent. He is good everywhere too. I cannot say, really. I’m excited about this one too. It’s going to be a good fight. A high-level fight,” Soldic said.
“The odds are 50/50. They both beat each other and looked dominant as winners. Moraes knocked Johnson out in the first fight, then Johnson paid him back handsomely in the second fight. Now, both opponents already know each other. They are well prepared. Their chances are equal,” Akhmetov said.
American Jackie Buntan, who will open the main card with a Muay Thai thriller against Diandra Martin, will try to elevate the women’s Muay Thai game domestically with a big performance. As for her thoughts on the main event, Buntan was giving both men their due. However, she still went with her fellow countryman.
“With DJ, he’s the GOAT. So, I’m super excited about that, and I’m going to have to back DJ because I’m a huge fan of his. I’m also a huge fan of Adriano. They’ve both proven they’re the best of the best. But being an American and being more familiar with DJ, I will have to back him. But I will say, trilogy fight, they’re 1-1. This is also a fight that can truly go either way, and I don’t think it’ll be a shock if it goes to one or the other,” Buntan said.
South Korean force Ok Rae Yoon will also return on the card as he takes on Lowen Tynanes in the opening bout of the evening. After seeing how Johnson adjusted to the ONE ruleset following his first loss in the promotion, Ok is also taking “Mighty Mouse.” For him, it is all about his intelligence.
“In their first match, Demetrious Johnson seemed naive about the grounded knee rule. So, if you look at the second match, he was in good shape because he got entirely used to the grounded knee rule and prepared so well. Of course, Moraes is also a great fighter, but I think Johnson’s fight IQ is really high, so I think he will come out better prepared and upgraded,” Ok said.
Although many waffled between the two flyweight warriors, only one was blunt in his prediction. Ahmed Mujtaba was emphatic that Johnson would get it done. Mujtaba, tasked with welcoming Sage Northcutt back to the Circle, did not sit on any fences.
“I think DJ, ‘Mighty Mouse,’ is going to take it. I like ‘Mighty Mouse.’ No more explanations. He’s a legend, a living legend,” Mujtaba said.
ONE Fight Night 10 airs live on Friday, May 5. The event begins on YouTube at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT with two bonus bouts before the main card airs on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.