Adriano Moraes Staying Ready For Long-Awaited Mighty Mouse Title Fight
ONE flyweight world champion Adriano ‘Mikinho’ Moraes has been waiting to get his hands on Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson ever since the latter joined ONE Championship at the end of 2018.
After Johnson won the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix last October at ONE: Century, he earned the right to challenge Moraes for the ONE flyweight belt. But the developing coronavirus crisis threatens to throw a wrench in the potential matchup, currently scheduled for ONE: Infinity 1 on May 29th. It has already been postponed once, after they were scheduled to meet in Jakarta on April 10th.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Moraes opened up on his concerns about the fight going ahead next month.
“We hope this coronavirus situation improves so we can actually travel there. It’s not for sure that airports will be open at that time. I believe this will all get better so the event can go forward.
“My understanding right now is that the card will be on May 29th, in Manila – assuming things improve. I’m not sure if ONE has a Plan B, or another location in mind like a closed studio. It would be a dream come true if they could do it here in the United States. I’ll just keep training, waiting for the time to come, so we can have the fight in the best way possible.”
And despite the difficulties associated with training as a professional fighter during lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing mandates, Moraes is hard at work training for a fight that may not happen for several months.
“To keep doing it, I’ve been exercising outdoors,” he said. “I wake up early so I can go on a long run and practice some shadowboxing in the grassy area near my building. There’s a pool here, too. It’s not too big, but I’m also swimming so I can work my cardio. I use some of the trees in the area to do some drills. There are ways to stay active while we wait for this coronavirus situation to improve. I’m taking care of myself. I’m helping out by doing social distancing. We’re all doing our part until things improve, and we can get back to work. I’m looking forward to a great fight.”
Though he is matched up against one of the pound-for-pound greatest fighters of all time (some would say the greatest) in Johnson, Moraes is confident his conditioning and pressure can produce a finish inside the ONE Circle, come fight night.
“My focus is to be at an above-average physical condition,” he said. “I want my standup to be very intense, too. Sometimes, I manage to book time with a partner, so we can spar or hit some pads at a local field. I’ll do what I always do, which is to give my best inside the ONE Circle. I’m looking to get a knockout or submission win. It’s going to be a very active fight. I’m much improved since my last fight last year. I’m very happy with this opportunity. I believe everything is going to work out for the best.
“Once Demetrious Johnson joined the promotion, I asked to fight him. But I didn’t get that fight. Instead, I was told he’d participate in the flyweight grand prix. I was told I’d defend against the eventual grand prix winner. So, I had to wait. There was nothing I could do. But the wait will be worth it. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Interestingly, whilst speaking to MMA Fighting, Moraes drew comparisons between his and Johnson’s up coming title fight, to another one that featured one of his America Top Team teammates, Amanda Nunes.
“I’m feeling exactly like Amanda Nunes when she fought Ronda Rousey,” Moraes said. “Amanda was defending her title, but Ronda was the one pampered by the media and others. It’s the same thing to me. I also expect all this to end the exact same way (laughs).”
Win or lose, when Moraes and Johnson do eventually meet inside the ONE Circle, ‘Mikinho’ believes it won’t be the last time they throw down.
“I believe that, regardless of who comes out as champion, whoever loses will deserve a rematch. Why now? We’re two great athletes who won a lot of gold, and I believe a rematch will be indisputable. A win over him puts me as one of the best flyweights in the world and helps me for future projects, too.”
Who do you think will win the ONE flyweight world title fight between Adriano Moraes and Demetrious Johnson?