All-time flyweight great Demetrious Johnson steps back into the ONE Circle on Friday, August 26th when the promotion makes its highly anticipated debut on Amazon Prime Video. In the main event of the evening, ‘Mighty Mouse’ will face reigning ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes with the gold on the line.
During his appearance on Morning Kombat with Brian Campbell and Chuck Mindenhall, Johnson talked about his first meeting with Moraes at ONE on TNT 1 in April 2021. On that night, Demetrious Johnson suffered the first knockout loss of his career when Moraes landed a vicious knee on ‘Mighty Mouse’ as he was attempting to work his way back up from the ground.
“After that fight, I had to go home and explain to so many damn people what the hell happened. They’re like, ‘why isn’t that man disqualified?’ I’m like, ‘guys, over there you get kneed in the f*cking face on the ground.’
The most common MMA ruleset known to fans is the Unified Rules of MMA which is used by the UFC and every other major North American promotion. In ONE Championship, they use the Global Martial Arts Rule Set. The biggest difference between the two is that in ONE, you are allowed to land knees to the head of a grounded opponent.
“I knew it was possible because of the ruleset. Did I think it would happen to me? In the back of my mind, I think I knew that day would come. It’s almost like getting cancer. It’s a possibility that can happen to all of us, but you don’t want it to happen.”
Demetrious Johnson Talks About the Height and Length Advantage of Adriano Moraes
Discussing the upcoming rematch, Johnson was questioned about the height and weight difference between himself and Moraes. The length of Moraes was a big factor in how things played out in their first meeting. Throughout the opening round, ‘Mighty Mouse’ struggled land offense thanks to Moraes’ length advantage and elite footwork.
Clearly frustrated, Johnson rushed in following a leg kick by Moraes. Looking for a takedown, Johnson ended up with his back on the canvas. Struggling to get to his feet quickly, he left his head wide open for Moraes to deliver the fight-ending knee directly to Demetrious Johnson’s chin.
“The funny thing is, I weigh bigger than all the guys I’ve fought. This is the thing people misconstrued. I don’t know how big they are eight weeks out from the fight. I saw an email to myself back in 2012, me weighing 141 pounds. Back in 2012, I was still fighting at 125 [pounds], I think I just came off the loss against Dominick Cruz. When I was fighting Dom, I came home weighing 138 pounds during training camp. So I’m the exact same size as I was in 2012, I just carry it differently.
“So now when I go out and I compete, they weigh you after the fight, and from what I’ve heard, I’ve been bigger than all my opponents after the fight. But he (Moraes) is taller than me. He’s five-ten, five-eleven, so there is a range advantage he has. Even in my previous fights, I’ve always had a hard time with taller guys. You look at Dominick Cruz, you look at Tim Elliott, you look at Miguel Torres. He isn’t the first tall guy I’ve fought.”