Adriano Moraes Targets ‘Beautiful KO’ Against Demetrious Johnson

ONE flyweight champion Adriano Moraes may be softly spoken, but it’s often the quiet ones you should watch out for. The Brazilian has quietly kept his head down and his spirits high during the global coronavirus pandemic, while patiently awaiting the opportunity to show the world why he’s the champion.

Before the world was plunged into a lockdown, Moraes was preparing to defend his title against Demetrious Johnson. Who since his arrival at ONE Championship, has already amassed three wins, winning the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.

Despite being the challenger for the belt, many consider Johnson to be the GOAT and are looking past Moraes, and forgetting that he’s the actual champion going into their fight.

Speaking to SCMP MMA, Moraes addressed the fact that he’s being overlooked by many fans.

“Yes, of course I think I don’t have the credit. But I’m the champion. The most important is when my friends, my family, my wife, my amazing mum, say I’m their hero, and this for me is all right,” Moraes said.

“I really appreciate that, and for the other people, they are just the others. I’m keeping my work going, and let’s see what’s gonna happen.”

Moraes was originally scheduled to fight Johnson in April. Then of course the world took a turn down Black Mirror Blvd and we still haven’t nailed down a date for when this fight will happen.

Adriano hasn’t competed since winning his title back from Geje Eustaquio in January of 2019 at ONE: Hero’s Ascent and he can’t wait to get back inside the ONE Circle.

“Almost two years out of the cage, you know – I’m an athlete, I love to go to fight. So let’s see what’s gonna happen, everybody’s looking forward for this fight. I’ve had a lot of time to train technique and get a better Adriano Moraes – hopefully I can show the best Adriano ever. I’m gonna be really ready for this fight. I want to defend my belt.”

The layoff between matches marks the longest Moraes has gone between fights, since turning professional almost ten years ago. Johnson, however, last fought in October at ONE: Century, where he beat Danny Kingad to win the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix.

Going into the biggest test of his career, Moraes is confident that he can take advantage of his 5 inch height advantage over ‘DJ’ and will be looking for a ‘beautiful KO’ on the night.

“I’m not too big but I have advantages, my height is a little bit more,” Moraes said. “I want to show more my striking, I think he’s gonna be giving me space. So let’s see if I can get a beautiful KO. It’s a long time since I have got a KO on anyone, but I’m working hard to do this in my next one.”

Although no date has been set yet, Moraes is already looking ahead to his next title fight, once he gets past Johnson.

“For me, in the semi-final of the World Flyweight Grand Prix, Reece McLaren won against Danny Kingad, for me the final should be Demetrious against Reece,” Moraes said. “Reece was a bantamweight contender, I think he’s one of the most tough guys in this line-up. For me the next one in line is Reece McLaren.

“Thank you God and ONE Championship for making these rankings so I can line up these guys and fight against each one, one per month,” Moraes concluded with a laugh.

How do you think Adriano Moraes will fare in defending his ONE flyweight title against Demetrious Johnson, when they finally meet inside the ONE Circle?

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