The first event of ONE Championship’s deal with Amazon Prime Video is set to be headlined by a blockbuster rematch between Adriano Moraes and Demetrious Johnson.
Earlier this year, Asia’s biggest martial arts organization announced a multi-year agreement for the exclusive coverage of its events in the United States and Canada, with streaming giant Amazon Prime Video acquiring the rights.
And what better way to start the partnership than with a crucial contest featuring one of not only America’s best mixed martial artists, but one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.
In the main event of ONE 161, set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium on August 26, “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (30-4-1) will have the chance to avenge the one and only knockout loss of his career to date. The defeat came at the hands of ONE Flyweight Champion Moraes, who has held the 135-pound gold on three separate occasions.
After exiting the UFC for ONE following a narrow loss to Henry Cejudo in 2018, Johnson won his opening three fights in the Circle, which came as part of the flyweight Grand Prix. Having earned the silver belt with victory over the Philippines’ Danny Kingad in the final, the MMA great set up a showdown with Moraes (20-3) at ONE on TNT 1.
In one of the most memorable moments of 2021, Moraes added a fourth defeat to Johnson’s record, and the first to have not required the scorecards. He did so by knocking the Kentucky native out with a grounded knee, which is legal in ONE but not under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, which is adopted by the UFC.
Since the April 2021 contest, the pair have competed once each, both at ONE Championship’s 10-year anniversary event earlier this year. While the Brazilian champion defended his gold against Yuya Wakamatsu, “Mighty Mouse” secured victory over elite Muay Thai practitioner Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a unique mixed-rules contest.
On Friday, following an initial report from Ariel Helwani, the promotion confirmed that the pair’s next steps will see their paths cross again, in what Chatri Sityodtong and ONE hope will be a rematch big enough to attract a healthy audience for the opening event of the Amazon partnership.
While the event is set for Singapore, it’s expect to be be broadcast live in US primetime, similar to the Asia-held UFC 275 next weekend.
Who do you think will have their hand raised in the ONE 161 main event, Adriano Moraes or Demetrious Johnson?