ONE Championship's flyweight champion Adriano Moraes will be looking to create history when he defends his title against one of the greatest flyweights of all time, Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson on 11th April in China. Moraes is looking forward to the opportunity to put himself to the test against a legend like Johnson on what is set to be the biggest pay-day of his life.
In a recent interaction with MMA Fighting, Moraes said that a solid performance in this fight will propel him to mainstream status in the world of MMA and he hopes to get some sponsors and earn good money from the bout.
“I don’t know what could chance in my life. When I look back and see that I have six ONE Championship belts, there’s always something that changed. I was able to come to the United States; it’s easier to get my documents now that I’m a high level athlete that is recognized around the world. I believe that a win over Demetrious definitely gets me in the mainstream. I can get some sponsors, something more on the business side. I’ll embrace every opportunity I have to make more money.”
Moraes revealed that it was difficult for him to get a good deal done with the promotion for this fight even though he is the reigning champion, his opponent is undoubtedly one of the biggest draws in not just ONE Championship but the fight game in general around the globe.
“That’s funny – I don’t know if it’s that funny because even the promotion treats me like that. I feels like I’m the contender here. That doesn’t affect me. I’m actually glad it’s that way, so I just stay under the radar and work on what has to be done. I think it’s funny that people see me as the guy challenging Demetrious for the belt. The promotion itself, when we were negotiating this fight, it was a pain in the (expletive) because of that. I’m the contender now.”
Moraes is of the view that all this while, his talent remained unappreciated because he wasn't fighting in a US-based promotion like the UFC but he is certain that the winner of the fight will be crowned the best flyweight in the world and a victory will make him one of the most sought after fighters on the planet.
“I’ve always done a great job in Asia. My losses were always controversial, and I know I have a huge potential. But I’m a bit hidden because I’ve been fighting in Asia for seven years. I believe this will be my moment to show the world what I can do. I had to fight someone famous in order to show that. A win over DJ gets me in the mainstream, other fans will get to know my work. I’m an American Top Team fighter and I train with athletes that are super famous. That’s what I needed, to fight someone famous, and I happy that this super athlete is Demetrious Johnson, a legend. It’s a huge honor for me.”Published 29 Jan 2020, 17:50 IST