MMA

Brazil’s Adriano Moraes is new ONE Flyweight World Champion

Adriano Moraes (© ONE Championship)

Adriano Moraes (© ONE Championship)

Fighting out of Brazil, Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 30, was crowned the new ONE Flyweight World Champion on January 25, 2019. This is the second time he captured the title.

Representing American Top Team and Constrictor Team, Moraes was one of the winners at “ONE: Hero’s Ascent,” the second ONE Championship event in 2019. In the main event of the evening, the Brazilian fighter challenged then reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, who is training out of Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines.

Olivier Coste served as the referee of the main event of “ONE: Hero’s Ascent.” After five rounds, he raised the hand of Moraes, who was declared the winner via unanimous decision.

Moraes put together a comprehensive grappling performance. Although Eustaquio connected on the cleaner, stronger punches throughout the five-round title tiff, it was his Brazilian challenger who dominated the grappling exchanges.

At one point, Moraes caught Eustaquio in a dangerous leglock that almost finished the bout. However, the Team Lakay fighter refused to tap.

It was a redemptive win for Moraes. “ONE: Hero’s Ascent” marked the third time he faced Eustaquio inside the ONE Championship cage.

On September 12, 2014, Moraes became the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Champion by defeating Eustaquio at “ONE: Rise of the Kingdom” at the Koh Pich Theatre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia . On September 13, 2015, the Brazilian fighter successfully defended the title from Asuka Mikami, 33, of Tokyo, Japan, who is now professionally known as Riku “The Outsider” Shibuya, at “ONE: Age of Champions” at Stadium Putra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

But on November 21, 2015, Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhtemov, 31, of Taldykorgan, Almaty, Kazakhstan dethroned Moraes at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions 4” at the Olympics Sports Center Gymnasium in Beijing, China. On August 13, 2016, the Brazilian fighter became the new ONE Interim Flyweight World Champion by defeating Tilek Batyrov at “ONE: Heroes of the World” at the Cotai Arena in Macau.

On August 5, 2017, Moraes reclaimed the ONE Flyweight World Championship title at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors” by dethroning Akhmetov at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors” at the Cotai Arena. On November 10, 2017, the Brazilian champion successfully defended the title from Eustaquio’s fellow Team Lakay fighter Danny “The King” Kingad, 23, of Baguio City at “ONE: Legends of the World” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

On January 26, 2018, Eustaquio became the ONE Interim Flyweight World Champion by defeating Akhtemov at “ONE: Global Superheroes” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. On June 23, 2018, the Team Lakay fighter became the ONE Flyweight World Champion, dethroning Moraes at “ONE: Pinnacle of Power” at the Studio Event Center in Macau, China.

Here is Moraes during the “ONE: Hero’s Ascent” post-fight press conference following his crowning as the new ONE Flyweight World Champion:

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