MMA: Moraes retains ONE title with shock stoppage of Johnson

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2021 12:01 PM | Updated as of Apr 08 2021 08:00 PM

Brazil's Adriano Moraes retained the ONE Championship flyweight title after knocking out Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson. Handout photo.

(UPDATED) Brazil's Adriano Moraes continues to reign as ONE's flyweight champion after defeating Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson at "ONE on TNT I," Thursday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Moraes, a three-time ONE Championship flyweight title-holder, entered the bout as the underdog against Johnson, the former UFC flyweight champion and winner of the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix.

But he bucked the odds with a massive second-round knockout of "Mighty Mouse," stunning the veteran with a knee before finishing him off with strikes.

The finish came at the 2:24 mark of the second round.

Moraes maximized his height and reach advantage, repeatedly circling away from Johnson. When "Mighty Mouse" closed the distance, Moraes caught him with an uppercut that caused Johnson to slip.

The Brazilian then landed the brutal knee that further stunned Johnson, and Moraes swarmed the challenger with a barrage of ground strikes.

This is Moraes' first title defense since regaining the flyweight belt in January 2019 from the Philippines' Geje Eustaquio.

For Johnson, it marked the first time in his career that he has been finished via strikes. "Mighty Mouse" had won his previous three matches in ONE Championship.

In the co-main event, another former UFC champion also walked away with a loss as Eddie Alvarez was disqualified against Iuri Lapicus for illegal strikes.

ONE Championship fighter Eddie Alvarez is shown a red card. Handout photo

The bout was stopped by referee Justin Brown after Alvarez landed strikes to the back of Lapicus' head upon taking him down. Lapicus was given a five-minute recovery period but could not continue.

Brown ruled the bout a disqualification at the 1:03 mark of the opening round. 

"The referee is here. Whatever call he makes, that's the call and I apologize," said Alvarez, the former UFC lightweight champion, after the bout. 

Meanwhile, ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon made a spectacular US primetime debut, securing a unanimous decision over Danial Williams in an explosive three-round contest.

Williams came out firing from the opening bell, but Rodtang pressed the action and scored a knockdown in the second round with a sharp left hook. 

In the final round, Rodtang and Williams exchanged thunderous strikes in the center of the Circle to end the bout in style.

On the lead card, welterweight contender Raimond Magomedaliev overcame a spirited effort from former ONE world title challenger Tyler McGuire to earn a unanimous decision victory. 

In a rematch of featherweight kickboxing stars, Enriko "The Hurricane" Kehl edged out a split decision over the debuting Chingiz "Chinga" Allazov, while in a heavyweight clash, Senegalese sensation "Reug Reug" Oumar Kane pounded out Patrick "Big Swiss" Schmid for a TKO victory.