Demetrious Johnson to Face Adriano Moraes for ONE Flyweight Title on April 11

Haris KruskicContributor IJanuary 13, 2020

ONE Championship

The highly anticipated championship match between Demetrious Johnson and flyweight champion Adriano Moraes will take place April 11 at ONE: Reign of Dynasties as announced by ONE Championship president Chatri Sityodtong on his social channels Sunday night.

Chatri Sityodtong @yodchatri

BREAKING NEWS: Demetrious Johnson (30-3) will challenge ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes (18-3) for the world title on April 11 in China!

After winning the ONE flyweight world grand prix tournament last October, Johnson became the No. 1 contender for flyweight champion Moraes' title. The 33-year-old's move to Singapore-based ONE in October 2018 saw the former UFC champion go 3-0 after defeating Yuya Wakamatsu, Tatsumitsu Wada and Danny Kingad on his way to the world grand prix championship. Now, "Mighty Mouse" looks to become the first athlete to win both a UFC and ONE belt when he faces Moraes.

The Brazilian is the only ONE athlete to win a belt on three separate occasions after he reclaimed it this time last year against Geje Eustaquio and is considered to be the best flyweight in the promotion's history. Moraes will go into the match having not competed since January 2019, but the 18-3 veteran waited for a world grand prix winner to emerge and told ONE he's excited to test himself against who most consider the greatest flyweight of all time.

"I've been waiting for this legend versus legend fight—me and DJ—to see who is the best flyweight in the world," Moraes said. "I have the chance to show the world, my friends and my family what I have been working so hard for."

Johnson earned a second-round submission over Wakamatsu before defeating Wada and Kingad by unanimous decision in the semifinals and final of the world grand prix, respectively. During his time in the UFC, the Kirkland, Washington resident was flyweight champion for six years and still owns the record for most consecutive title defenses with eleven.

Moraes has beaten the best flyweights ONE had to offer over the years, including Eustaquio twice, Kairat Akhmetov and Kingad in route to three title reigns. 

For a promotion that hangs its hat on the competitiveness of their smaller weight divisions, this match should highlight just that as one of the most important bouts in ONE history. Johnson's quest to be considered the greatest pound-for-pound mixed martial artist of all time will take a major leap with a win over a vastly underrated Moraes, who has been close to the top of ONE's talent pool for years now.

Towering over most flyweights at 5'8", the champion will have a significant height advantage over Mighty Mouse, who has admittedly struggled with the size of some of his opponents at ONE since joining the company. How will that play out against by far his toughest opponent yet in Johnson?

The April 11 event will stream on B/R Live.