- Demetrious Johnson faces Adriano Moraes in a rematch for the ONE flyweight title
- Fighters on the ONE Championship roster share their own take on the matchup
- The said title tiff will headline the promotion’s debut on Amazon Prime Video
There could be no more fitting cage encounter to headline ONE Championship’s maiden offering on Amazon Prime Video than arguably the most anticipated rematch in the promotion’s 11-year history.
ONE flyweight titleholder Adriano Moraes of Brazil is set to run it back with American mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar and former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 1, which takes place at the 12,000-capacity Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday, August 27 (Friday, August 26 in the U.S.).
Both men first crossed paths in April 2021, where Moraes stunned the MMA world by knocking Johnson out for the first time in his professional career with a clean left knee to the jaw and then a volley of rapid ground punches in the second round.
Now, fans and pundits alike are intrigued to see whether Moraes can repeat the feat or Johnson will be able to redeem himself by vanquishing his Brazilian rival.
With the scheduled five-round clash entailing high stakes worthy to be on the marquee of the organization’s debut on the aforementioned streaming platform, notable names on the talent-laden ONE Championship roster are among those eager to watch it all unfold.
Atomweight queen Angela Lee was put in a tough spot when she shared her thoughts on the matchup but eventually sided with Moraes to prevail over Johnson.
“They are amazing mixed martial artists, super well-rounded. They each have amazing skill sets, and I’m a fan of both, so it’s hard to choose. But you know what? I think that Adriano is going to take it once more,” she pointed out.
Meanwhile, her younger brother Christian Lee—who will be figuring in a rematch versus Ok Rae Yoon for the lightweight crown at ONE 160—also feels that Moraes will get his hand raised in triumph once more.
“I definitely think that DJ is going to come in with a different game plan, a different strategy. He’s absolutely, I believe, going to play it more safely. But Adriano has got a great skill set, and I feel that it’s just a stylistically bad matchup for DJ. He’s got great striking and great jiu-jitsu, so I think that Adriano is going to keep his belt,” he said.
Two-division ONE kingpin Reinier de Ridder echoed the sentiments of the Lee siblings by picking the Brazilian champion over the American challenger.
“I think it’s more of the same, to be honest. Adriano was just too dominant. [He] moves too well [and was] too big for DJ, and it’s his time. DJ’s had his time. He’s been the best for a long time, but those days are over right now. I’d say [it ends with a] rear-naked choke, third round,” de Ridder predicted.
On the other hand, ONE heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar vouched for “Mighty Mouse” to get the job done on his second date opposite Moraes.
“You can’t pick against the G.O.A.T. You must go with DJ just because of who he is, so I’m going to have to go with DJ. I think he will make the adjustments. He changed up his preparation this time, too. On the other side, maybe Adriano comes out like an even bigger killer because he’s already got one on him, so now, that mystique of DJ isn’t there in his head,” Bhullar stated.
“I can go either way, but I’m going to pick DJ because of his past and what he’s shown he’s capable of.”
Bhullar’s fearless forecast was supported by ex-welterweight titlist Zebaztian Kadestam.
“I like Moraes a lot. But I think DJ is a very smart fighter. He comes from a very good camp. I think they will have changed things up enough to get the decision win,” Kadestam mentioned.
For women’s atomweight standout Itsuki Hirata, she feels that Johnson has his best chance of picking up the victory by taking matters into his own hands rather than leaving his fate at the mercy of the judges’ scorecards.
“I think DJ will win this time, but I really don’t know because the champion showed us an amazing performance in the fight with Yuya Wakamatsu at ONE X, so who knows? Probably the fight will be left up to a decision, but I think the champion might win if it goes to a decision,” Hirata remarked.
However, another former world champion in the form of Martin Nguyen foresees the two going the full distance this time around.
“I kinda see this fight going the same way the first fight did – Moraes moving and pepper-striking to set up traps and DJ with his fun, aggressive fighting style. Both guys giving it their all. I really like both guys, so I hope no one gets knocked out or subbed, just them two going to war for five rounds,” Nguyen stressed.
Preliminary bouts of ONE on Prime Video 1 will begin to air at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT on Friday, August 26 in the U.S., while the main card will follow at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.
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