KEY POINTS

  • Demetrious Johnson gets his shot at redemption against Adriano Moraes at ONE 161
  • Moraes handed Johnson his first knockout loss when they met in April 2021
  • Johnson reveals that he has been working on his jiu-jitsu more heavily this time

Mixed martial arts (MMA) icon Demetrious Johnson will be making his return to the cage when he challenges flyweight champion Adriano Moraes at ONE 161 on August 27.

The pair first met in April 2021 on the ONE on TNT I card, where Johnson was caught by a thunderous uppercut from Moraes in the second round and ate a meteoric knee that gave him his first-ever knockout loss.

Since that time, Johnson has been working on his craft and will now get an opportunity to exact revenge on Moraes a year after their initial encounter.

“It’s another tough [fight]. He’s a great athlete. He always comes prepared. He’s always in great condition. And then on that day, I’m just going to go out there and fight and see [what happens],” Johnson said about Moraes in a recent interview.

While facing Moraes for a second time seems redundant for Johnson, the mere thought of avenging his lone knockout loss has to be enticing.

Johnson was also asked about what he plans to do against Moraes and revealed that he is working harder on his jiu-jitsu.

“Training is going great. I already feel like I’m in great shape. I will say the biggest thing is because I joined a jiu-jitsu school. And now I’m training pure jiu-jitsu. I found a legit jiu-jitsu gym under a new professor Yan McCane–a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt for 10 years. [He’s an] absolute monster. Very knowledgeable,” he explained.

Johnson is a phenomenal striker in his own right, but his biggest advantage is his otherworldly submission game.

Every MMA fan remembers where they were on the night that he pulled off the suplex-armbar combination on Ray Borg at UFC 216, which has a strong case for being Johnson’s biggest career highlight.

But when it comes to an elite-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner like Moraes, the 2019 ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix winner cannot afford to have any weak spots.

“I’m working my ground game, working on my stand-up. I’m making sure when I step into the Circle on 26 August in Singapore, I’m the best version of myself. That’s what I’m always striving for,” Johnson mentioned.

“Every fight that I fight from here on out is always going to be my biggest fight, whether it’s for a world title or not.”

The Singapore-based promotion is yet to announce the fighters that will be competing in the co-main event and on the undercard of ONE 161, which is set to air live in the United States at primetime under its new partnership with Amazon Prime Video.

Adriano Moraes knocked out Demetrious Johnson with a knee to the head at ONE on TNT 1 on April 2021
Adriano Moraes knocked out Demetrious Johnson with a knee to the head at ONE on TNT 1 on April 2021 ONE Championship photo
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