Demetrius Johnson suffered a crushing defeat to Adrian Moraes in a landmark fight for the Asian-based One championship. As he is widely considered as one of the most dominating champions in mixed martial arts, Demetrius was an obvious choice for a headline. The former UFC flyweight champion defended his title 11 times, setting a record for consecutive title defenses.
The ONE championship fight took place in Singapore and was aired lived in the U.S for the first time on TNT, marking the brand’s first live telecast in the U.S.
However, it was Moraes who turned the tide and took hold of the opportunity present in front of him. With a wicked knee strike, Adrian knocked Johnson out at 2 minutes, 24 seconds of the second round. The win allowed Adrian to retain his flyweight title. However, many consider the knee strike to be illegal as per the MMA rules in the U.S, as the opponent was on his knees.
Yet, such strikes are allowed under the ONE Championship banner. Moreover, ONE Championship recognized the knee strike as ‘Knockout of the year.’
ONE Championship: it’s just the beginning
After the fight, Johnson was asked to share a few thoughts as he hadn’t been knocked out ever before. He said, “I have to go back home and look at the fight, see when I made mistakes. Adriano is very long, big. It was hard trying to get to him. This is part of the game. You stay in this game long enough, this is bound to happen at some point, right?”
One Championship has a few more live telecasts planned on TNT this month, even though Wednesday’s card offered the best set up by a wide margin as far as to name acknowledgement in the U.S. The upcoming fights will look to generate genuine interest from the audience.
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