For the first time in nearly a decade, mixed martial arts major Demetrious Johnson has lost a fight without controversy. Johnson battled a flyweight champion Adriano Moraes in the main event of ONE on TNT Wednesday night with Moraes coming into the night as a massive +540 underdog against the former longtime UFC champion.
Despite the long odds, Moraes retained its championship in Kallang, Singore, after scoring a TKO in the second round. Johnson was in trouble in the opening round and found himself surpassed on the ground after Moraes pulled guard, threatened with a heel hook and switched to top position to control the round. In the second round, Johnson tried to keep the match standing, but it quickly got bad.
Moraes landed a short recipe that dropped Johnson on the canvas. Moraes followed to the ground, landing a knee in Johnson’s face and throwing him back on the canvas before the fight was stopped after a final stream of blows from the champion.
The knee would have been illegal in the UFC, but in ONE, the knee and football tip against the head of a downed warrior is legal and calls back to PRIDE and other major Asian MMA campaigns.
Johnson was sent to ONE in October 2018 in the first trade in UFC history, where the UFC received the services of then-ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren in return. The deal came after Johnson lost his championship with flyweight to Henry Cejudo by controversial split decision at UFC 227.
Moraes is the first man in history to stop Johnson, who now has a 30-4-1 record.
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