Former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson's bid for the ONE Championship flyweight title did not go as planned.
Adriano Moraes knocked out Johnson at 2:24 of the second round to retain the flyweight title in the main event of ONE on TNT 1 on Wednesday night in Singapore.
Moraes dropped Johnson with a right hand, and as "Mighty Mouse" tried to return to his feet, Moraes followed up with a vicious left knee that proved to be the fight-ending blow. The knee would've been illegal under the unified rules of mixed martial arts and in promotions such as the UFC and Bellator, as Johnson was grounded at the time of the strike, but it was legal in ONE.
Johnson suffered the first stoppage loss of his 35-fight career. He was heavily favored to win the fight and capture the ONE title; Moraes was as high as a 5-1 underdog for the bout.
"This is a dream come true. I don't have (any) words to describe this moment," Moraes said in his postfight interview. "We did it."
The first round was mostly a feeling-out process, with Johnson pressuring the champion in the stand-up department while Moraes was able to get the challenger to the mat in the last two minutes of the frame.
Johnson's three-fight winning streak came to an end, and he suffered his first defeat under the ONE banner. This was his first loss since he dropped the UFC flyweight title to Henry Cejudo by split decision in August 2018. Johnson hadn't stepped into the ring since October 2019.
"Adriano, he's very long, big. I was trying to get to him," Johnson said after the fight. "But it's part of the game, man. (When) you're in this game for so long, it's bound to happen one of these days, right?"
Moraes, who ended a 27-month layoff Wednesday, has now won two straight fights and is 6-1 in his past seven contests. The 31-year-old has been the ONE flyweight champion on three separate occasions, winning the belt for the first time in 2014. His three career defeats have all come by way of split decision.