Demetrious Johnson added to his incredible legacy with a unanimous decision win over Adriano Moraes at ONE Fight Night 10, available for free on replay on Prime Video. The ONE Flyweight World Champion headlined ONE Championship’s U.S. debut with a stellar technical performance. Although the finish did not come, Johnson was grateful for the win.
Demetrious Johnson Victorious, Looks to the Future
The match played out primarily in the clinch. Johnson’s jabbing knees did tremendous bodywork, and he narrowly missed a finish with a jumping knee. Johnson credits Moraes’ durability and commitment to tightening up his game for the tough title tilt.
“When we’re trying to disengage, I was trying to land an elbow, and I hit him with a right hand when he ducked his head out. But like I said, I think he was more durable, more not overextending himself because when I hit him the second fight, he threw the left hook, and then I ducked down, and I hit him. So he overextended. His body wasn’t in the right position to reciprocate the energy. That’s why he got knocked out the second time. The third time, every single time, he didn’t really overextend a lot this time,” Johnson said at the post-event press conference.
After the win, Kairat Akhmetov entered the Circle for a staredown with the champion. Johnson obliged and set the stage for what could be his next title defense. Although he has not officially ruled out retirement, “Mighty Mouse” seemed motivated by Akhmetov’s recent run of wins.
“I think Kairat Akhmetov is on a six-fight winning streak. I love when people are on winning streaks because I love taking it away from them. Kairat’s an amazing athlete, very, very strong. I saw him and Reece McLaren in the World Grand Prix back in 2019, I believe. And he’s a good wrestler. You know, I think when I fight him, I’m excited for a new challenge because he brings something different to the table,” Johnson said.
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Johnson is one of only a select few in the discussion for the greatest martial artist of all time. But the reigning flyweight king does not think there is a clear-cut answer. Instead, Johnson believes it is a personal choice based on preferences.
“Honestly, it’s always going to be based on the person’s perspective. For me, what I like to look at, the guys who are on that GOAT list, I like to see their complete skill set. Can they grapple, can they strike, can they clinch, can they wrestle? That’s what I like, you know, for my list. When I look at myself as one of those guys, I’ve shown in my skillset that I can grapple, I got a great clinch, I got great striking, I got great jiu-jitsu, I’m very creative in the cage. So yeah, I think it’s based on people’s perspective,” Johnson said.
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Unsurprisingly, one of the greatest minds in the game took the event in stride. That is thanks in part to his family being inside the 1stBank Center to watch him compete for the first time live. His two sons got to be there for his latest title defense and enjoyed the festivities of ONE Fight Night 10.
“It felt really good, you know because I never thought in my lifetime that I’ll still be competing at this age and be able to look outside the cage and see my kids. So that’s something I’ll remember to my heart. I love ONE Championship. I love The Home of Martial Arts. I love being surrounded by so many great athletes with different disciplines, right? Just to hear the different dialects, you know, be around the best Muay Thai athletes in the world, the best kickboxers around the world, even the best submission grapplers around the world. The Ruotolo Brothers, Mikey Musumeci, I’m just truly grateful. And my legacy here in ONE Championship is just as an athlete who came here and worked hard and fought everybody they put in front of me. And, you know, who was very easy to work with too. When they asked me to fight Rodtang, it wasn’t like, ‘well, I want MMA to be first, I think MMA should be first, and then we’d do Muay Thai.’ I was like, ‘whatever you guys want.’ You know, I’m just an easy guy,” Johnson stated.