Why Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes is one of the best flyweight matchups ever

ONE Championship, Demetrious Johnson

It’s easy to consider the monumental main event match between reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious Johnson at ONE on TNT 1 as a war between the East against the West.

One is an absolute legend, considered by many as one of the all-time greats, who is looking to fortify his lore in a new realm after leaving a warpath in his past stops, most notably in UFC. The other, meanwhile, is a dominant champion who is seeking to cement his status as one of the greats by knocking off his greatest challenger yet and reminding everyone who the top dog is in ONE Championship.

But make no mistake about it, the two gladiators entering the ONE Circle in April 7 at Singapore Indoor Stadium won’t be just mere representatives of their side of the world: It is a clash between two of the best flyweights in the world today.

For Moraes, it’s a career-defining bout, one the Brazilian is looking to be the piece de resistance of his incredible run in ONE. He has taken all comers and routinely came out on top — the reason why he’s still the one holding the strap. Moraes has been an absolute superstar when the lights are at their brightest, winning six of his last eight title fights, and has never lost via finish.

Just look at the list of victims Mikinho has taken down to be the ruler of ONE’s flyweight kingdom: Tilek Batyrov, Kairat Akhmetov, Danny Kingad, and Geje Eustaquio. All worthy opponents, all fired their best shot, and all falling down in the end. Tough as those fights are, it was always Moraes who had his hands raised at the end of the night. If that’s not dominance to you, you better double or triple-check that dictionary of yours.

On the flipside, Johnson is also looking at this match as one of his biggest, his one final step to immortality to solidify his case as the undisputed best in the world. From the moment he signed the dotted line to head to ONE Championship, it’s the goal he set forth for himself, to once again rise up the ranks and be called the flyweight king.

Mighty Mouse, though, had to first prove that his reputation didn’t mean that he can get an easy pass even in a new organization, taking down challenges after challenges to rule the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.

A superb quarterfinals win over Yuya Wakamatsu, a second round submission win at ONE: A New Era in March 2019 set the tone for the future to come for Johnson as he hurdled some of the best fighters the flyweight division has to offer, drubbing Tatsumitsu Wada of Japan in the semifinals at ONE: Dawn of Heroes in August, and doing the same to Danny Kingad of the Philippines in the final at ONE: Century Part 1 in October to win the whole tournament.

Johnson didn’t just get a prelude of what’s to come, he has adapted and thrived well to his new environment and wants the crown that he believes he rightfully deserves.

With those converging destinies set to reach a fever pitch at ONE on TNT 1, there’s no question that this meeting between Moraes and Johnson for the ONE Flyweight World Championship is easily the biggest flyweight fight ever.

Aside from that five-star match, ONE on TNT 1 also has more in store for fight fans.
Eddie Alvarez returns to action when he faces ONE’s no. 2-ranked lightweight contender Iuri Lapicus of Moldova, both seeking to improve their standing as they position themselves as the next challengers to reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee.

Reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon is also set for a hard-hitting affair against Australian “Mini T” Danial Williams in a 61.5-kilogram catchweight muay thai match.

ONE on TNT 1 will air live on US primetime on April 7, 8:30 p.m. ET while it airs simultaneously in Asia on April 8, 8:30 a.m. SGT.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM