Adriano Moraes’ win over Demetrious Johnson last year was seen as a major upset. But the Brazilians says he and his team were not surprised at all, they saw it coming.
For Moraes it was just a ‘normal working day’. The reigning ONE Championship flyweight king us used to winning fights and that is exactly what he expected to do against Johnson,
“A lot of people were surprised, but my team and the people who always believed in me weren’t surprised. We already knew. We work very hard, we have a unique discipline. So for us, it was a normal working day, and thank God everything went well.”
Demetrious Johnson aka ‘Mighty Mouse’ has never been finished in a fight.
Bravo, Adriano Moraes 👑 #ONEChampionship
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 8, 2021
Since then Moraes has successfully defended his belt against Yuya Wakamatsu at ONE: ‘X’. Johnson hasn’t even competed in MMA but did take on Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a mixed rules bout on the same card in Singapore.
A few people were also surprised when Johnson was handed an immediate rematch. Normally a fighter who comes up short in a title match is expected to beat a contender or two before being handed a rematch.
But Moraes does not pick and choose opponents and says he is ready to face whoever matchmakers put forwards,
“As champion, I have to defend my title. Regardless of who my opponent is, I have to be ready on the scheduled date to do my job in the best possible way. I’ve fought Demetrious Johnson. I’ve shown my strength against him. But if this is the fight ONE Championship wants, if that’s the plan, I’m in. Let’s make it happen.”
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Nothing to prove
Having already beaten the former UFC flyweight king convincingly he admits he has ‘nothing to prove’,
“I think that in this rematch, I have nothing to prove. I just want to give my best, as always, and show that I am an increasingly complete athlete.”
But Johnson will be determined to avenge his defeat to Moraes at ONE on TNT. The champion knows that the challenger will be motivated and hungry heading into the rematch,
“This is the kind of fight that is very difficult to predict. Demetrious Johnson is a very smart guy, very tough, and I know he’s coming in very hungry for this rematch. I’m training a lot. I want to show my evolution as an athlete, so I believe I can get a submission in the fourth round.”
While Moraes is the champion Johnson is clearly the bigger name. The Brazilian knows that these are the type of fights he needs if he wants to be remembered long after he retires,
“This fight is very important for my legacy because I want to make as many title defenses as I can during my career. Victory over him will help a lot in building that legacy.”