Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 29, of Brazil won the ONE Flyweight World Championship title for the third time by dethroning Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, of the Philippines during their trilogy fight. The Brazilian mixed martial artist pulled off a near-submission via Suloev stretch, which is said to be what helped him earn the nod of the three judges.
With Olivier Coste as the referee, Eustaquio and Moraes headlined “ONE: Hero’s Ascent” on January 25, 2019 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. After five five-minute rounds, judges Ian Cartwright, Joey Lepiten and Rosenberg Rosete unanimously gave the victory to the Brazilian challenger.
“Regarding the decision, they’re pointing out that I got stuck far too long in a leg lock,” Eustaquio stated. “In my opinion, of course, I have to study the fight again and learn but it is what it is.”
Eustaquio initially gunned for a finish and there were instances when he managed to stun Moraes, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist. What stood out in the match was the Brazilian challenger’s Suloev stretch in the fourth round although he failed to submit the Filipino defending champion.
A fighter executes the Suloev stretch submission from back mount as the opponent tripods up to escape, according to Watch BJJ. This hamstring stretch submission, which looks similar to a kneebar, was named after the late Armenian Yazidi MMA fighter Amar Suloev, who first used it to submit Paul Cahoon, 43, of the United Kingdom at “2H2H 5: Simply the Best” on October 13, 2002.
On February 23, 2013, Kenny Robertson, 34, of the United States submitted Brock “The Machine” Jardine, 33, of the U.S. via Suloev stretch submission at “UFC 157.” On September 8, 2018, Zabit Magomedsharipov, 27, of Russia and Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling, 29, of the U.S. submitted Brandon “Killer B” Davis, 28, of the U.S. and Cody “Mr. Wonderful” Stamann, 29, of the U.S. respectively, both via Suloev stretch submission at “UFC 228.”
Many believe that Moraes defeated Eustaquio via the Suloev stretch and even ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong does not dispute the result. For Eustaquio, Moraes’s striking is okay but his striking is better and the only thing his Brazilian rival did at “ONE: Hero’s Ascent” was a near submission.
This is the third time Moraes captured the ONE Flyweight World Championship title. He was the first one to hold the title by beating Eustaquio at “ONE: Rise of the Kingdom” at the Koh Pich Theatre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on September 12, 2014.
Moraes lost the title to Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhtemov, 31, of Taldykorgan, Almaty, Kazakhstan at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions 4” on November 21, 2015 but reclaimed it during their rematch at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors” on August 5, 2017. The Brazilian fighter lost the title to Eustaquio during their rematch at “ONE: Pinnacle of Power” on June 23, 2018.
Here are Michael Schiavello and Mitch “The Dragon” Chilson giving a recap of “ONE: Heros’ Ascent” and Moraes’s Suloev stretch: