MMA: Drex Zamboanga backs Johnson to win flyweight belt


Posted at Apr 07 2021 02:44 PM

MMA: Drex Zamboanga backs Johnson to win flyweight belt 1
Adriano Moraes will defend his ONE flyweight belt against MMA icon Demetrious Johnson. Handout photo.

 'Can you really doubt DJ?'

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino flyweight contender Drex "T-Rex" Zamboanga is looking forward to an explosive affair when Adriano Moraes defends the ONE flyweight championship against Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson.

The Moraes-Johnson bout headlines "ONE on TNT I," which will broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on April 8.

"I think this is going to be a very explosive fight, and it's one that, as a fan, I'm excited to see," said Zamboanga, who is currently based in Bangkok, Thailand.

"Adriano Moraes has been in ONE for a long time, and has had incredible reigns at the top of the flyweight division," he noted.

That said, Zamboanga pointed out that Johnson is "a legend." Before leaving for ONE Championship in highly-publicized "trade" in October 2018, Johnson was the inaugural UFC flyweight champion and recorded 11 successful title defenses.

After losing his last UFC bout -- dropping the title to Henry Cejudo in August 2018 -- Johnson left for ONE Championship and immediately reeled off three straight wins. In October 2019, he outpointed Danny Kingad to win the ONE flyweight Grand Prix and earn a shot at Moraes' belt.

"I've watched (Johnson) fight in the UFC my entire career," Zamboanga said. "He's one of the people I look up to."

While Zamboanga acknowledged that both fighters are "very well-rounded," he still believes that Johnson will emerge the winner.

"If you ask me to pick though, I think DJ has the best chance to dethrone Moraes and take the title. Can you really doubt DJ at this stage?" he said. "He's the pound-for-pound greatest of all time, or at least in that conversation."

"At the same time, you can't count Moraes out," he conceded.

Moraes has qualities that can trouble Johnson, but Zamboanga believes that "Mighty Mouse" can negate those advantages with his wrestling base.

"More than that, DJ is also great on the feet. He's a complete fighter and I think that's going to be the difference. I'm so pumped for this fight," he said.

Aside from the Moraes-Johnson bout, "ONE on TNT I" also features the return of former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, who faces No. 2-ranked lightweight contender Iuri Lapicus in the co-main event, as well as an appearance from ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon.


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