Adriano Moraes shocked the world on Wednesday night with a brutal second-round knockout of Demetrious Johnson in the first-ever ONE on TNT event.
Although he entered the fight as the reigning lightweight champion of ONE, Moraes was a determined outsider for Johnson, who was one of the biggest additions to the promotion after a historic trade led him to replace Ben Askren, who went to the UFC. None of this seemed to bother Moraes, who showed confidence during the fight until he finally connected to the uppercut and a huge knee that shattered Johnson with the battle, which ended in just 2:24 in the second round.
“This is a dream come true,” Moraes said after the victory. “I really work hard every day. I have no words to describe this moment. We succeeded. I grew up watching a DJ fight. He is a legend. I knew exactly his game. My team and I made the perfect strategy to fight it. I reached him with a good uppercut. I’m so excited. “
“It simply came as no surprise to me. I work with the best guys in the world. It happened today. ”
With a significant advantage, Moraes wanted to keep Johnson at bay earlier, but the former UFC champion made his way inside, where he was trying to engage with the Brazilian in the clinch. The fight led to the disappearance of the fighters on the ground and Moraes managed to use his size to turn his positions and spend the last minute of the opening round at the top of Johnson, pouring out blows.
As the second round began, Johnson was more aggressive in his approach as he continued to try to rule out the advantage of reaching Moraes, who was constantly licking him from the outside.
Johnson’s attempt to get inside eventually backfired as he traded with Moraes and the reigning ONE lightweight champion unloaded a perfectly synchronized uppercut that sent the Mighty Mouse to the canvas.
Moraes then struck Johnson with a massive blow to the knee while he was still on the ground – a move that is perfectly legal in the rules of the ONE Championship – and after a few more blows, the referee rushed to stop the race.
Johnson then paid Moraes a loan for a job well done, but he still needed more time to watch the tape again to find out exactly what was wrong.
“I have to go home and look at the battle to see where I made my mistakes,” Johnson said. “It’s very long, big, I tried to reach it, but it’s part of the game. You have been in the game for so long that this will happen one of these days. “
Johnson fell to 30-4-1 in his career with a loss, while Moraes established himself as the best fly in the ONE Championship in his third title, undoubtedly winning the biggest victory of his career.