ONE Championship flyweight champion Adriano Moraes credited teammate Jorge Masvidal for that knee he threw to knockout Demetrious Johnson and become the first man to KO the former UFC champion.
Despite coming into the fight as the reigning ONE flyweight champion, Moraes was a decided underdog to Johnson, who was one of the promotion’s biggest additions after a historic trade brought him over in exchange for Ben Askren going to the UFC. None of that seemed to bother Moraes, who showed confidence throughout the fight until he finally connected with an uppercut and a huge knee that demolished Johnson with the fight-ending at just 2:24 in the second round. It was the first time in Johnson’s legendary career that he’s ever been finished by strikes.
Taking to his social media following the fight, Moraes credited his teammate at American Top Team, Masvidal, for showing him that knees can change your life. Masvidal, of course, was mostly a journeyman in MMA before he landed a flying knee on Ben Askren at UFC 239 that knocked him out in just five seconds. Masvidal landed what may be the most celebrated flying knee in the history of MMA, finishing former ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren.
Masvidal @GamebredFighter told me the knee can change life’s ✅👍🏾
— Adriano Moraes (@adrianomkmoraes) April 8, 2021
Masvidal @GamebredFighter told me the knee can change life’s
Ground knee rules are different in ONE FC and UFC
Since the iconic Ben Askren flying knee ko by Masvidal, knees are back in business and many fighters have tried to use them to finish their fights. The rule is illegal in the UFC, where we recently saw Petr Yan lose his bantamweight title to Aljamain Sterling after he kneed him while he was grounded, resulting in a disqualification.
Despite the clear damage one such strike did to him, Demetrious Johnson still thinks kneeing a downed opponent should be legal.
Johnson (30-4-1) was on the receiving end of a knee to the head while downed when he was knocked out by ONE flyweight champion Adriano Moraes (19-3) at ONE on TNT I on Wednesday. It was the first time Johnson has been stopped in his career, but despite the loss, has no problems with ONE’s ruleset.
“I like these rules,” Johnson said following the fight. “Like I said, it’s a progression of a fight. I went down on my back. I was coming up for an underhook, Adriano had me posted, he blasted a knee, the fight’s over, it’s done, I don’t get any more concussions. It’s just done, and it was a different position than I’ve been in. Adriano did a good job of using his length. He fully extended me and landed the knee.”
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