Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson underlined his greatness by sealing victory over two-time champion Adriano Moraes in the main event of ONE Fight Night 10, then left the door open for a potential return to action later this year.
Johnson exhibited a masterclass in energy conservation and smartly-applied pressure as he wore down Moraes over the five-round duration to earn a unanimous decision from the cageside judges in Broomfield, Colorado.
It gave Johnson the win in the three-fight series between the pair after the duo had traded knee KO victories in the first two bouts. But this time the action went all five rounds as the judges were called into action for only the fourth time in the evening.
Johnson looked in full control throughout the bout as he conserved his energy when Moraes had him up against the cage, then pushed the pace on the Brazilian when the fight was out in the open. The champion’s gameplan of concerted, smartly-applied pressure was designed to tire the bigger, heavier man, and as the bout headed into the championship rounds, it was clear that Moraes had lost a step, with Johnson nullifying the Brazilian’s attempts to drag the action to the mat.
Then, in the fourth round, Johnson turned up the pressure a few more notches, as he connected with a pair of big knees, including one spectacular jumping knee that found its mark. Johnson then continued to punish the Brazilian in the clinch with strong knees to the midsection as he continually worked the body of the challenger en route to the final bell.
After the verdict was read and the confetti fell, Johnson was joined by his wife and children before he spoke with Mitch Chilson, and stated that, despite rumors suggesting he would retire after the fight, he had not yet made a firm decision on his fighting future.
Saying the decision would come after a “behind closed doors conversation,” Johnson left the door open for a ONE Championship return, and it didn’t take long for his next potential opponent to enter the cage, as Kairat Akhmetov, fresh off his victory over Reece McLaren earlier in the night, faced off with “Mighty Mouse” to set up a potential title clash later this year.
Will it happen? The final word was left to Johnson, who ended the night with a familiar phrase, “Show me the money!!”
Rodtang delivers huge elbow KO
In the co-main event, reigning ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang won over the entire arena in Colorado as he put on a show of his striking excellence to knock out Edgar Tabares and retain his title.
The opening round, often a feeling-out process in Muay Thai, saw Tabares set his stall out as he stood directly in front of the champion and looked to answer every shot with strikes of his own. Tabares also attempted multiple spinning elbows when Rodtang moved into close range.
The Thai ace must have noticed that tendency, as he used the Mexican’s penchant for the spinning elbow to create the opening for a highlight-reel finish early in the second round.
With Tabares backed up against the cage, Rodtang closed in, looking to land big punches. But, as Tabares moved to throw a spinning back elbow, Rodtang stopped and evaded the strike, before answering with a vicious short left elbow to knock Tabares down to the canvas.
The challenger was unable to get back to his feet as Rodtang celebrated a huge knockout victory in front of a thrilled crowd.
After his victory, Rodtang stated his intention to move up a weight class to challenge old adversary, newly-crowned bantamweight Muay Thai world champion Jonathan Haggerty, before ONE co-commentator Mitch Chilson announced that Rodtang had earned a $100,000 bonus for his knockout victory.
Musumeci snatches late choke to retain submission grappling title
The night’s first title fight saw “Darth Rigatoni” Mikey Musumeci retain his flyweight submission grappling title with a rear-naked choke finish in the final two minutes of his bout with no-gi world champion Osamah Almarwai.
Musumeci pushed the pace on Almarwai from the very start of their one-round, 10-minute title bout, and forced the challenger onto the back foot. It meant that Almarwai was put on the defensive for the entirety of the matchup as Musumeci relentlessly pursued a submission.
Much of that time was spent working for a leg lock but, after realizing that his opponent was defending smartly, Musumeci switched targets, took Almarwai’s back and locked up a rear-naked choke to force the tap with less than two minutes left on the clock.
Stamp folds up Anderson to earn interim title shot
Former ONE atomweight Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion Stamp Fairtex punched her ticket to another MMA title chance as she stopped America’s Alyse Anderson in stunning style.
Anderson looked to force Stamp into grappling exchanges as she pushed the Thai starlet against the fence and looked to wear heavily on the former two-sport champ.
But Stamp proved to have all the answers as she not only dealt with Anderson’s approach, but also showed some grappling chops of her own as she briefly took the American’s back.
But Stamp’s biggest advantage was in the striking realm, and she made it count in the final minute of Round 2 when she connected with a huge body kick that folded up Anderson, who fell to the canvas in clear agony.
It was a clean body-kick KO for Stamp, who earned a $50,000 bonus for her performance, as well as a shot at the vacant interim atomweight MMA title.
ONE Fight Night 10: Official results
- Demetrious Johnson def. Adriano Moraes via unanimous decision – for flyweight title
- Rodtang Jitmuangnon def. Edgar Tabares via knockout (elbow) – Round 2, 1:34 – for flyweight Muay Thai title
- Mikey Musumeci def. Osamah Almarwai via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 8:03 – for flyweight submission grappling title
- Stamp Fairtex def. Alyse Anderson via knockout (body kick) – Round 2, 2:27
- Zebaztian Kadestam def. Roberto Soldic via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:45
- Sage Northcutt def. Ahmed Mujtaba via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 0:39
- Aung La N Sang def. Fan Rong via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 0:48
- Tye Ruotolo def. Reinier de Ridder via unanimous decision – submission grappling bout
- Jackie Buntan def. Diandra Martin via TKO – Round 1, 2:34 – Muay Thai bout
- Kairat Akhmetov def. Reece McLaren via unanimous decision
- Ok Rae Yoon def. Lowen Tynanes via unanimous decision