After competing in a trilogy of fights with one of MMA’s modern greats, former ONE flyweight world champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes is ready to enter a fresh chapter in his illustrious career.
Moraes shared the spotlight with reigning flyweight king Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson for a third time this past May at ONE Fight Night 10, and their main event battle at ONE’s debut event on U.S. soil was highly anticipated, as each man had taken a win in the series.
After five rounds of intense action, it was “Mighty Mouse” who left the Circle with the gold still over his shoulder via unanimous decision, much to the disappointment of Moraes.
But, looking back on the saga, he has no sour grapes surrounding the outcome. Instead, the Brazilian standout only feels gratitude for being able to take on Johnson in such a thrilling rivalry.
“Sharing the cage with DJ was a great experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I learned a lot from him,” he revealed.
“Regardless of victory or defeat, the lesson that remains is to recognize that life has these things, that one day you are on top, and the next you are at the bottom. One day you are the champion, and the next you are the contender. But you have to always be grateful for everything.”
“Mikinho” has taken lessons from his historic trilogy with Johnson – ones he wants to remember as he moves on with his career.
When it comes to what’s next for him, Moraes is keen to take on a fellow divisional contender in order to keep himself sharp, and he’s got No. 3-ranked Reece McLaren in his crosshairs.
The enigmatic Australian has come a long way in a short period of time, and he’s remained well within the world title conversation for some time.
Moraes has faced many of the best flyweights in ONE across his long and successful tenure. And, given their respective run of recent results, he feels a meeting with McLaren would be mutually beneficial for both parties.
“ONE’s flyweight division is very strong. It has many strong contenders. But I believe that a fight against Reece McLaren makes some sense, as we were defeated in the same event. So I think he could be my next opponent,” he suggested.
“But I’m fine, ready for the next one, and whoever comes is a profit for me.”