The debut of ONE Championship on TNT provided a fun card, despite this unfortunate referee call.
In the main event of the night, Demetrious Johnson met with Adriano Moraes to challenge for the Flyweight title. Johnson, AKA Mighty Mouse, was heralded as a -700 favorite at start time with many expecting the pound-for-pound great to secure a dominant win.
That was not at all the case. After a competitive first round that saw back and forth scrambles and striking exchanges, Adriano Moraes landed an uppercut and brutal knee to turn out DJ’s lights and retain his championship.
This was the first stoppage defeat in Johnson’s lengthy career.
At the post-event media interviews, Mighty Mouse was gracious in defeat and voiced his intent to return towards the end of the year. Though he discussed working his way back towards the title and a rematch with Moraes, the legendary fighter made his interest clear in a potential kickboxing fight.
ONE Championship, for those not in the know, features MMA as well as Muay Thai and Kickboxing bouts. Johnson still has six fights for ONE left in his contract, so the door is certainly open for a kickboxing bout.
Johnson’s well rounded style has been a staple of his MMA game for years, so seeing him in an environment with just punches and kicks allowed would certainly be a change, but not an unwelcome one for the former UFC champion. He stated that he is interested in pushing himself and testing out new aspects of his fighting game after many years at the top of the MMA ladder.
Whether we see Johnson in a kickboxing or MMA bout, there is no doubt fans will be excited for his return.