For the first time in nearly a decade, mixed martial arts great Demetrious Johnson has lost a fight without controversy. Johnson battled ONE flyweight champion Adriano Moraes in the main event of ONE on TNT on Wednesday night with Moraes entering the night as a massive +540 underdog against the former longtime UFC champion.
Despite the long odds, Moraes retained his championship in Kallang, Singapore, after scoring a TKO in the second round. Johnson was in trouble in the opening round, finding himself outmatched on the ground after Moraes pulled guard, threatened with a heel hook and transitioned to top position to control the round. In the second round, Johnson tried to keep the fight standing, but things turned bad quickly.
Moraes landed a short uppercut that dropped Johnson to the canvas. Moraes followed to the ground and landed a knee to the face of Johnson, dropping him back to the canvas before the fight was stopped after a finishing flurry of punches from the champ.
The knee would have been illegal in the UFC, but in ONE, knees and soccer kicks to the head of a downed fighter are legal, calling back to the days of PRIDE and other major Asian MMA promotions.
Johnson was sent to ONE in October 2018 in the first trade in UFC history, with the UFC getting the services of then-ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren in return. The trade came after Johnson lost his flyweight championship to Henry Cejudo by controversial split decision at UFC 227.
Moraes is the first man in history to stop Johnson, who now holds a 30-4-1 record.