The highly anticipated title match between Demetrious Johnson and ONE flyweight champion Adriano Moraes will now take place April 7 on a card that will also see the return of Eddie Alvarez against No. 2-ranked lightweight Iuri Lapicus. ONE announced Friday the card will be on TNT in primetime for the U.S. audience.
This is the second time the Moraes-Johnson fight has been rescheduled. They were originally supposed to compete in April of last year before the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to those plans, and the meeting was then slated for Feb. 24 before Friday's announcement.
After winning the flyweight world grand prix tournament in October 2019, Johnson became the No. 1 contender for Moraes' title. The former UFC champion is 3-0 at ONE after defeating Yuya Wakamatsu, Tatsumitsu Wada and Danny Kingad on his way to the world grand prix championship. 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 11.
For a promotion that hangs its hat on the competitiveness of its smaller weight divisions, his next match against Moraes 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 Moraes, who has been close to the top of ONE's talent pool for years now.
Alvarez hasn't competed since defeating Eduard Folayang in the lightweight world grand prix semifinals in August 2019. He was supposed to face Saygid Arslanaliev in the final but pulled out because of injury. A win over Lapicus would propel The Underground King into the lightweight rankings as he vies for a shot at champion Christian Lee.
Alvarez began his ONE tenure with a shocking first-round loss to Timofey Nastyukhin before earning his first win with the promotion against Folayang. He was a UFC lightweight champion before joining ONE and owns a 30-7 record.