Former ONE lightweight champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang knows what it is like to come into the cage as the underdog.
That is why he was cheering hard when reigning ONE flyweight champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes knocked out MMA great Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in their initial meeting last year.
“Adriano was really impressive in their first fight. It’s mixed martial arts, anything can happen and Moraes proved that. He came in as an underdog and finished Demetrious Johnson, and we all know the expectations on Johnson coming in given his experience,” Folayang said.
“Moraes really proved that they have to respect us over here, and that’s really impressive.”
Moraes will look to pull off another upset when he faces Johnson in a rematch for the main event of ONE Fight Night 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II on August 27 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Folayang expects this clash to be harder for the Brazilian, especially with Johnson’s ability to learn from setbacks.
“Both fighters will come in wiser with different adjustments. I expect Moraes to adjust and we all know about DJ’s fight IQ. It’s going to be an interesting rematch, and I truly believe it could go either way,” Folayang said.
“Looking at advantages, I believe Moraes has the reach advantage and [advantage] in jiu-jitsu, though Johnson’s takedowns and control could negate that. I expect this to truly go down the wire.”
Despite knowing what Johnson will bring to the table, Folayang expects Moraes to rise above the occasion and cement himself as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.
“I’ll give a slight advantage to Moraes, mainly because of ONE Championship experience and familiarity, having competed in ONE on this stage for a long time,” he said.