Possible clash vs Demetrious Johnson fuels Adriano Moraes’ fire
MANILA, Philippines—Adriano Moraes has long established his reputation as one of the best flyweights in ONE Championship when he became the promotion’s inaugural champion in 2014 after he beat Filipino rival Geje Eustaquio.
From then on he would win six of his next eight fights with his last one a unanimous decision win over Eustaquio, their third fight against each other, to reclaim the gold in ONE: Hero’s Ascent Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Moraes’ (18-3) two losses since he first won the title were both via split decision, against Eustaquio and Kairat Akhmetov, proving that he’s an absolute beast in the 135-lb division.
And after defeating every possible opponent ONE put in front of him, Moraes is looking at the promotion’s newest acquisition—former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson.
“Of course, going up against him will take me one more step in my career,” said Moraes. “The thought of facing him is keeping me motivated.”
“This division is going to be huge and I guess I need to go back to the gym to keep my job because there are a lot of tough guys coming in so I have to be ready.”
There’s also the upcoming Flyweight World Grand Prix that Johnson and Team Lakay title contender Danny Kingad is part of.
The Grand Prix serves as a title eliminator with the winner among the eight participants getting a chance to face the reigning world flyweight champion after the tournament.
“I’m going to be busy because we have the Flyweight World Grand Prix in March so we have one of the best flyweights in the world in Demetrious Johnson,” said Moraes.
A match with Johnson is also a chance for Moraes to avenge the loss of his friend Kyoji Horiguchi.
Johnson submitted Horiguchi in the final second of their fight in UFC 186 on April 25, 2015 and Moraes wants to get one for his friend.
“If I fight him I can avenge my friend Kyoji, he’s a big Japanese friend of mine and we train together,” said Moraes of his teammate at American Top Team. “It’s going to be a big fight.”
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