Adriano Moraes and Demetrious Johnson have fought twice in Singapore earning a win each. But the trilogy bout will take place in the champion’s homeland and that gives it added significance for the Brazilian.

The fight takes place in Denver and the event will serve as the promotion’s US debut. Johnson is American born and bred and made his name fighting in his homeland for the UFC.

For Moraes the prospect of beating the former UFC flyweight champion in his homeland is an enticing one,

“I was the first ONE flyweight champion. I’m glad to be one of the pillars of the division and to be in the main event of the first ONE Championship event in the U.S. It will be very significant to beat him here.”

More detailed

Moraes might be from Brazil but he is based in Florida. Having already fought Johnson twice he says preparation for the trilogy match has been ‘more detailed’,

“Because it is a trilogy, the preparation is more detailed because we know each other well, but it is intense training (and) I have great training partners and coaches that help me every day.”

Moraes has already made the long trip from Coconut Creek to Denver for a seminar and has had a chance to experience the altitude for himself,

“I gave a seminar there and spent a few days tuning in and setting myself with the altitude. I plan to go a few weeks earlier so as not to be caught by surprise with the altitude that everyone talks about.”

He has also been taking tips from some training partners who have fought in Denver including the recently retired Jorge Masvidal,

“I have some training partners who have already fought there and told me about the altitude of Colorado. It’s all planned. My brother [Jorge] Masvidal has already fought there and gave me some tips.”


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Defining moment

Moraes knows that the rivalry with Johnson is probably the defining moment of his career. The win over the UFC veteran sent shockwaves through the sport and was broadcast live by TNT in the US.

The rematch was shown on Amazon Prime and the trilogy bout will also be broadcast in North America on the streaming platform. Moraes needs no reminding of the significance of the bout which will headline ONE Fight Night 10.

Moraes will be revisiting the scene of both his ‘greatest victory’ and his ‘greatest defeat’ and hopes to revisit the latter with a win in Broomfield next month,

“I consider Johnson the biggest rival of my career. He is considered the best in the world and also in the history of this division. He was my greatest victory, and at the same time, my greatest defeat.”