Adrian Moraes shocked the martial arts world in 2021 with a stunning finish of Demetrieux Johnson to retain the ONE Flyweight World Championship. He will have the opportunity to reaffirm his superiority over the American on August 26 at UN 161.
None of those upsets came from America’s Top Team camp, as Moraes had long been one of the best flyweights in the world and was willing to do exactly what was needed to retain his gold.
“A lot of people were surprised, but my team and the people who have 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,” Moraes told ONE.
“I think 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.
Although Moraes feels like he has nothing to prove inside the A championship Circle, he is well aware that the rematch against “Mighty Mouse” will be a huge opportunity for his legacy.
Johnson, a multiple world champion and considered by many to be the greatest mixed martial arts athlete of all time, is still the benchmark. Beating Johnson a second time while adding to his list of world title defenses will be another step towards immortality for the Brazilian.
“This fight is very important to my legacy because I want to make as many title defenses as possible in my career. And [another] winning over him will help a lot to build that legacy,” Moraes admitted.
“As a champion, I have to defend my title. It doesn’t matter who my opponent is, I have to be ready on the scheduled date to do my job in the best possible way. I fought Demetrious Johnson. I showed my strength against him. But if that’s the fight ONE Championship wants, if that’s the plan, I’m in. Let’s make it happen.
The American Top Team star thinks he can finish Johnson again. However, the talented ONE Flyweight World Champion is not predicting a perfect copy of the outcome of their first meeting.
Moraes is all too aware of Johnson’s talent, which makes each match unique and difficult to assess.
But the Brazilian’s plan is still to knock out the division’s top contender and continue his reign on August 26.
“It’s the kind of fight that’s very hard to predict. Demetrious Johnson is a very smart guy, very tough, and I know he’s 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 fourth-round submission,” Moraes said.
ONE 161 will air in the United States during prime time on Friday, August 26.