Reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 29, of Brazil believes that in mixed martial arts, things do not happen overnight. As a professional fighter himself, he knows the hardships one has to go through to achieve championship.
“The most important thing in this sport is what we can give back to it,” Moraes stated. “It is a learning journey, and I want to pass my knowledge forward for the future.”
“If I can do this by inspiring fans with my performances, then I am happy,” the reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion explained. “It is all about balance.”
Moraes’s road to championship is not a straight one. He became the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Champion on September 12, 2014 after defeating Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, of the Philippines at “ONE: Rise of the Kingdom” in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
On March 13, 2015, Moraes successfully defended his title from Riku “The Outsider” Shibuya, 33, of Japan, who was then known as Asuka Mikami, at “ONE: Age of Champions” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But on November 21, 2015, Moraes lost the title to Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhtemov, 30, of Kazakhstan at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions” in Beijing, China.
On August 13, 2016, Moraes became the ONE Interim Flyweight World Champion after defeating Tilek “Baatyr” Batyrov, 26, of Kyrgyzstan at “ONE: Heroes of the World” in Macau, China. The titles were unified on August 5, 2017 at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors” in Macau where Moraes and Akhtemov had their rematch that ended in unanimous decision in favor of the Brazilian fighter.
On January 26, 2018, Moraes attended “ONE: Global Superheroes” in Manila, Philippines where Eustaquio and Akthemov’s rematch ended in unanimous decision in favor of the Filipino contender, who became the new ONE Interim Flyweight World Champion. On June 23, 2018, Moraes and Eustaquio will have their rematch at “ONE: Pinnacle of Power” in Macau to unify the titles.
Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring Moraes: