Adriano Moraes is used to being a champion, or at the very least a top contender. But after back to back defeats at the hands of Demetrious Johnson he is further away from the title than ever.
Moraes is already a three time ONE Championship flyweight titlist. He wants to capture the belt for a fourth time and believes that all he needs is one more win:
Just a WIN will take me back to the title !
— Adriano Moraes (@adrianomkmoraes) May 30, 2023
Moraes might have a point. He is the #1 ranked contender, one spot ahead of former opponent Kairat Akhmetov who has been promised the next shot at Demetrious Johnson.
Morales and Akhmetov have fought twice and hold a decision win each. Should the Kazakh prevail against Johnson then a trilogy bout between the two would make a lot of sense.
Moraes seems to believe he will need to beat another contender before being handed another shot at the belt and he might well be right. The Brazilian is coming off back to back losses to Johnson and has seen his momentum interrupted by the former UFC flyweight champion.
AND STILL! @MightyMouse 🇺🇸 earns a unanimous decision victory over Adriano Moraes to win the trilogy and retain his ONE Flyweight World Title 🐐
Tune in to Prime Video NOW to catch the rest of ONE Fight Night 10!
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 6, 2023
The problem for Moraes is that his last fight with Johnson didn’t provide much in the way of entertainment and wasn’t particularly close. Under the circumstances there wouldn’t be much appetite for a fourth bout between the two men.
There is no date confirmed for the title match between Johnson and Akhmetov. The former has been openly discussing the prospect of retirement but looks set to fight on and the two men faced off inside the cage at ONE Fight Night 10.
Moraes has been in this situation before. The Brazilian has has to work his way back up the ranks after losing the belt and has done so successfully on several occasions.
But he has never been beaten twice by the same opponent so the road back to being a champion looks longer than ever before. It is a path Moraes is determined to tread and he believes one win is all it will take to earn another shot at the champion.