Adriano Moraes shocked the world on Wednesday night with a brutal second round knockout over Demetrious Johnson in the first ONE ever at the TNT event.
Despite entering the fight as the reigning ONE flyweight champion, Moraes was a definite underdog to Johnson, who was one of the campaign’s biggest additions after a historic trade brought him in exchange for Ben Askren going to the UFC . None of that seemed to bother Moraes, who showed confidence throughout the match until he finally connected with a top and a giant knee that tore Johnson with the match ending just 2:24 in the second round.
“This is a dream come true,” Moraes said after the victory. “I work really hard every single day. I do not have the words to describe this moment. We did it. I grew up watching DJ fight. He is a legend. I knew exactly his game. Me and my team made the perfect strategy to fight him. I came to him with a good cut. I’m so excited. ”
“It’s not a surprise to me. I work with the best guys in the world. Today it worked. ”
With considerable range, Moraes looked early to keep Johnson at bay, but the former UFC champion worked his way inside where he seemed to engage with the Brazilian in clinch. A distortion resulted in the Warriors going to the ground and Moraes was able to use his size to turn positions and spend the last minute of the opening round on top of Johnson, peppered away with strikes.
As the second round got underway, Johnson was more aggressive in his approach as he continued to watch to close out the benefits of range for Moraes, who constantly potted him from the outside.
Johnson’s attempt to get in eventually eventually after he got into an exchange with Moraes and the reigning ONE flyweight champion read a perfectly timed headline that sent “Mighty Mouse” down the screen.
That was when Moraes blew up Johnson with a massive knee strike while he was still on the ground – a move that is perfectly legal in the ONE Championship rules – and after a few more strokes, the referee hurried to stop the competition.
Afterwards, Johnson paid Morae’s credit for a job well done, while still needing more time to watch the tape again to understand exactly what went wrong.
“I have to go home and watch the match to see where I made the mistakes,” Johnson said. “He’s very tall, big, I tried to get to him, but it’s part of the game. You’re been in the game so long that it’s going to happen one of these days. ”
Johnson falls to 30-4-1 in his career with the loss, while Moraes solidifies as the top flyweight in the ET championship in his third reign with the title, while undoubtedly earning the biggest win of his career.