Adriano Moraes' Shocking TKO of Demetrious Johnson Caps a Weird Night for ONE

bleacherreport.com
5 min read
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Let's be honest with ourselves: this is probably not what ONE Championship envisioned for its big stateside debut. That doesn't mean there wasn't a silver lining, but, yeah...
Dennis Jerome Acosta/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Let's be honest with ourselves: this is probably not what ONE Championship envisioned for its big stateside debut.

That doesn't mean there wasn't a silver lining, but, yeah.

The Asian MMA promotion passed a major milestone Wednesday with ONE on TNT 1, broadcast on B/R Live and the Bleacher Report app as well as basic cable. They loaded the card accordingly with UFC championship transplants Demetrious Johnson (30-4-1) and lightweight kingpin Eddie Alvarez (30-8-1). They sprung for a billboard in Times Square. The stars were coming out to play.

But the MMA gods can be rather fickle, and they were in some kind of mood in Singapore.

(Note: TNT and Bleacher Report are both owned by Turner Broadcasting System.)

First, the headliner pitted Johnson against reigning ONE flyweight champ Adriano Moraes (19-3). It was a little strange to see Johnson in the challenger's role given that, you know, he dominated the UFC's 125-pound division for nearly six years and is on a shortlist with Henry Cejudo for the best to ever do it in that weight class.

Accordingly, Moraes' massive underdog status coming in said more about the challenger than the champ, who has successfully won or defended the ONE flyweight strap six times. According to statistics provided during the broadcast, the 31-year-old Brazilian holds records for the most wins and finishes in ONE flyweight history. He's one of the most dangerous jiu-jitsu players in the promotion, with a fully loaded cache of submissions at his disposal and nine tapout wins to his name.

He didn't need any of that on Wednesday.

As you might expect, the action was fast-paced from the start, even when neither man was landing significant offense. Johnson switched stances and worked low kicks while Moraes circled and attempted to find the range at which he could use his length (5'8" to Johnson's 5'3") to land from long…
Scott Harris
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