On August 26 at ONE on Prime Video 1, ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes will square off once again with MMA legend Demetrious Johnson. It's undoubtedly the biggest and most anticipated rematch in ONE Championship history. The magnitude of this fight can't be overstated.
In their first meeting, Moraes became the first man to ever knock out 12-time UFC world champion Demetrious Johnson. The win signified and solidified the caliber of ONE fighters against the rest of the world.
Being that Moraes stopped the man most considered to be the GOAT, fans, fighters and pundits alike are eager to see if he can do it a second time. As for Johnson, there's still a lot of steam left in the legend and we're all excited to see him bounce back from the first truly devastating loss of his career.
With just a few days away from their fateful meeting, we'll look into three possible keys to victory for both Moraes and Johnson come August 26.
For Demetrious Johnson: stick-and-move, use feints and utilize as much of the circle as possible
ONE Championship's famous circle is a massive caged enclosure and Demetrious Johnson will have to use every inch of it if he wants to win the belt this Friday. The American MMA icon has to utilize his legendary movement to dart in and out of range to land nifty combinations while gliding out of the way of counters.
In the first fight, 'Mighty Mouse' arguably stayed in the pocket for too long, leaving himself vulnerable to the counter uppercut that sent him to the canvas. He needs to stick and move a lot to avoid Moraes' powerful strikes and overwhelming grappling. Demetrious Johnson also needs to use a lot of feints to give Moraes different looks and keep him guessing.
If Johnson comes in prepared to do this consistently for a full 25-minute bout, there's no question he'll come home with the belt on Friday.
For Adriano Moraes: use movement to open up opportunities to clinch and take the fight to the ground
In their first fight, we all saw what Moraes did in the second round, finishing Johnson via KO in devastating fashion. What most aren't talking about, however, is the first round, which 'Mikinho' clearly won.
He surprisingly matched Demetrious Johnson's movement and was able to put him on his back and hold him there long enough to win the round clearly. This will be the pivotal key to retaining his world title this Friday.
Adriano Moraes has to use his movement and feints to mask his clinch and takedown entries to take the fight to the ground, where he will most likely win.
Since ONE has removed weight cutting and operates at 10 pounds heavier than the usual weight limit, this fight will be at 135 pounds. Before falling to Moraes, the only other dominant loss suffered by Demetrious Johnson was at the hands of Dominick Cruz, who was 135 pounds.
Moraes has a clear size advantage over 'DJ', being a more natural 135-pound fighter. He has to take advantage of this by grappling heavily with ‘Mighty Mouse’.
For both: control the center of the circle
The outcome of this bout will also depend on who controls the center of the circle first. Demetrious Johnson works best when he uses his movement to push his opponents backwards. Same with Moraes.
Both are supremely conditioned athletes with gas tanks for days. Both also operate at a higher pace than most fighters in their weight class. They are also capable of submitting and knocking anyone out at any moment. Adriano Moraes and Demetrious Johnson are levels above everybody else.
The victor of the bout will most likely have to maintain control of the circle and keep his opponent on the defensive. This is where the difference lies in this massive world title rematch at ONE on Prime Video 1.
Tune in on August 26 to watch the action and drama unfold.