MMA: Moraes vs Johnson fight closer than people might think, says Kingad

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Posted at Apr 06 2021 04:13 PM

MMA: Moraes vs Johnson fight closer than people might think, says Kingad 1

A lot of people feel that reigning ONE flyweight champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes will come in as a heavy underdog against the great Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson when they clash for the strap at “ONE on TNT I,” which airs Thursday morning.

But Team Lakay’s Danny “The King” Kingad sees this clash being closer than people expect. And having shared the stage with both men in the past, he knows what he’s talking about. 

“Honestly, this is a hard matchup to gauge. You can’t really be sure who will end up winning,” Kingad said. “Having faced them both, one thing I can say is that they’re really strong fighters.” 

Kingad faced Moraes when they clashed for the ONE flyweight title back in 2017, a match that didn’t last long, as the Brazilian submitted the young Filipino in just one round. 

“The King” believes things would be a whole lot different should they meet again, but Moraes improved in that stretch as well.

“When I fought Moraes, that was a long time ago, so it’s a bit different now,” he said. “I competed on short notice, and I didn’t really prepare well for his reach and his grappling. That’s why the match ended up that way.” 

While Kingad has improved leaps and bounds since then, he believes that Moraes has also polished his own skill set, and he thinks that the Brazilian has the necessary tools to give Johnson problems. 

“I expect Moraes to come in and have the reach advantage, which will work to his advantage when they're on the feet -- but he’s more than that of course," he said.

"He’s a champion for a reason, and he wouldn’t be here if he was not good. One thing that’s most notable about him, of course, is his ground game -- he can hang with Johnson on the ground."

“The King” crossed paths with Johnson after dropping the loss to Moraes, and although he improved much after being submitted by the world champion, he still found out firsthand why many people consider Johnson the greatest of all time. 

“He’s the GOAT,” Kingad admitted. “He’s so technical and he’s really quick. It’s so hard to stay in step with him.”

While he believes this match will go down to the wire, Kingad is still siding with “Mighty Mouse.”

“The difference between the two will boil down to quickness, and I’ve seen how quick Demetrious Johnson is -- both physically and mentally,” Kingad said. 

“I think that’s what truly makes him great. He’s always a step ahead of everyone, he thinks quickly on his feet, and he already knows what you’re about to do even if you’re only thinking about it. 

“As I’ve said, it’s really hard to gauge this match, but if I’m to choose, I’m picking DJ via decision.”

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