A possible trade between UFC and ONE Championship, transferring two of their biggest talents Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren, is not even official yet, but that didn’t stop former ONE flyweight king Adriano Moraes from calling for a fight with “Mighty Mouse”.
“Mikinho” lost his flyweight title in controversial fashion in July, when Geje Eustaquio claimed the undisputed gold with a split decision in China. The American Top Team talent, who mentioned his desire to fight Johnson years ago, sees it as a real possibility after a “shocking” trade.
“I’m thrilled (with this possible trade) because that’s a fight I wanted years ago since we are the biggest champion in the flyweight division in ONE and the UFC,” Moraes told MMA Fighting. “He’s a complete fighter and I would definitely like to fight him. It would be really cool.”
Moraes admits he “never imagined” the UFC making this kind of trade with ONE Championship and letting Johnson go, and now expects every flyweight in ONE’s roster to call out the former UFC king.
He’s no different.
“I have a fight booked against Eustaquio, an immediate rematch for the title,” Moraes said. “Our last fight had a controversial result, I watch it over and over again and can’t see how he won it, but ONE officials are very correct and gave me the immediate rematch.
“We were going to fight on Nov. 23rd (in Manila, Philippines), but something happened to Eustaquio and we will have to postpone that. I’m just waiting to see what happens, but I would be really happy to welcome Demetrious Johnson to Asia.”
Moraes has competed in seven championship bouts under the ONE banner since 2014, winning five of them — including a second-round guillotine choke against Eustaquio to win the title for the first time. Moraes’ only losses in his 17-3 run in the sport were split calls inside the ONE cage.
Johnson broke Anderson Silva’s record for most title defenses in UFC history (11) before losing the belt in a split decision against Henry Cejudo in August. If “Mighty Mouse” does leave Dana White’s company, the 29-year-old Brazilian knows how to beat him decisively.
“He really disappointed a bit against Cejudo,” Moraes said. “Cejudo was able to take him down and control him. He was more aggressive, and Demetrious couldn’t impose his game on the feet. I have to study Demetrious Johnson’s game a bit more to come up with a gameplan, but staying active on the feet and using my jiu-jitsu, I can definitely defeat him, no doubt about it.”