Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 31, of Brazil shocked the world by knocking out Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 34, of the United States at “ONE on TNT 1” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on April 7, 2021. It was the Brazilian mixed martial artist’s first successful title defense since reclaiming the flyweight world championship title of ONE Championship from Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 32, of the Philippines.
“It’s a very nice fight,” Eustaquio said of the “ONE on TNT 1” match between Johnson and Moraes. “Sometimes, even legends fall. Achilles was unbeaten until they found out his Achilles’ heel. (It is the) same with DJ.”
The knockout victory made Moraes the fourth fighter to defeat Johnson in a professional MMA bout. The first two losses of the latter were via unanimous decision while the third one was via split decision.
This means Moraes is the first fighter to finish and to knock out Johnson in a professional MMA bout. It was also the Brazilian champion’s first knockout win in ONE Championship.
“ONE on TNT 1” marked the fourth ONE Championship fight of Johnson. Before joining the Singapore-based martial arts organization, he reigned as the flyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship from September 22, 2012 to August 4, 2018.
“With all respect, he is legendary but he was exposed the last three fights he had here in Asia,” Eustaquio said of Johnson. “Also, this proves that we can compete globally. The skill set is not that way far. We can stand with legends.”
If there is someone who really knows how it feels like fighting Moraes, that is Eustaquio. The two MMA veterans have shared the ONE Championship cage three times.
On September 12, 2014, Moraes submitted Eustaquio when they competed for the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Championship title. The Brazilian champion defended the title from Riku “The Outsider” Shibuya, 36, of Japan on March 13, 2015 but lost it via split decision to Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, 33, of Kazakhstan on November 21, 2015.
On August 5, 2017, Moraes reclaimed the title by defeating Akhmetov via unanimous decision in their rematch. On November 10, 2017, the Brazilian champion defended his title from Danny “The King” Kingad, 25, of the Philippines.
Both Kingad and Eustaquio train out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines. On June 23, 2018, Eustaquio became the new ONE Flyweight World Champion by beating Moraes via split decision.
On January 25, 2019, Moraes challenged Eustaquio, which marked their third fight. The Brazilian challenger won via unanimous decision.
Winning at “ONE on TNT 1” improved Moraes’s professional MMA record to 19 wins and 3 losses. Johnson now has 30 wins and 4 losses.
Eustaquio currently has 14 wins and 8 losses. The Team Lakay fighter is riding a two-bout winning streak.