He’ll have a chance to hit two birds with one stone when he challenges the reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion once again at ONE 161: Moraes vs. Johnson II, which airs live on U.S. primetime on August 26 (August 27, PH time).
The 35-year-old came in as the heavy favorite despite being the challenger when they met for the first time, and he fell short of adding yet another belt to his loaded trophy cabinet after being knocked out by the Brazilian with a knee.
Now, Johnson gets his chance at redemption.
“It’s another tough [fight]. He’s a great athlete. He always comes prepared. He’s always in great condition. And then on that day, I’m just going to go out there and fight and see [what happens],” he said.
“I mean, at the end of the day, I have nothing to lose. I’ve just lost, damn it. We’ve both proven so much in the sport of mixed martial arts. For me, my challenge is I haven’t beat him yet, so I have a challenge in front of me. I have to go prove I can beat this man.”
Patience will be key for the American superstar as he believes that lack of it led to his downfall in their first meeting.
Moraes has always been known for luring his opponents in and taking advantage when they overextend, and for “Mighty Mouse,” it’s something he has to be wary of in the rematch.
“I know I have to be patient. Before I fought [Moraes], I watched his fights, and I thought, ‘Okay, he never really engages.’ He’s always used his movement or whatnot. And then fighting him, I realized he really didn’t engage because I was chasing him the whole time,” Johnson said.
“Then watching him [successfully defend his belt against] Yuya Wakamatsu, he didn’t really engage. So this time, I just got to be on my Ps and Qs and just be more mindful of not overcommitting.”
Having hit a brick wall in Moraes, Johnson is working on his entire game as he looks for a flawless performance in his return to the Circle.
“As I said, I’m working my ground game, working on my stand-up. I’m making sure when I step in the Circle on 26 August in Singapore, I’m the best version of myself. That’s what I’m always striving for. I’m always striving for perfection and I just hope that I go out there and execute and not make any mistakes,” Johnson said.
“Every fight that I fight from here on out is always going to be my biggest fight, whether it’s for a World Title or not.”
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