One of the most accomplished athletes from Brazil, Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, is a powerhouse of the flyweight division.
Born April 21st, 1989, Moraes’ early life was a harsh one as he was abandoned by his mother when he was only a newborn.
Luckily, he was taken into an orphanage and adopted by a single mother who has been a positive influence in his life ever since.
At a young age, Moraes took up martial arts, taking an interest in Judo and Capoeira. It wasn’t until Moraes started in BJJ that he found his true calling, competing in tournaments, winning the NAGA No-Gi Pro Division in 2014, and earning his black belt the following year.
Two years after making his MMA debut, “Mikinho” joined the ONE Championship roster in 2013. Since then he has risen to the top of the division and surpassed expectations by becoming a three-time ONE Flyweight Champion and defeating the best of the best.
Now 32, Adriano is currently scheduled to defend his title against Japanese fighter, Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu, this weekend, on March 26th, to hopefully further extend his legacy.
Okay, with his intriguing backstory covered, it’s time to lock onto Adriano Moraes’s Top 5 Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Danny Kingad – ONE: Legends of the World (Nov. 10, 2017)
Adriano regained his flyweight title by overcoming Kairat Akhmetov in a rematch and unifying the championship with the Interim title.
Moraes was here up to defend his title in Pasa against Filipino fighter, Danny Kingad, who was carrying an undefeated record of 7-0 along with the Filipino crowd behind him.
Round 1 began with Kingad being overly cautious, picking his shots at a great distance by landing leg and body kicks, knowing full well the dangers of being in Moraes’ clutches.
Sure enough, Kingad’s fears were realized as his attempted leg kick was caught by Moraes who landed a right hand, sending the challenger to his back.
Mikinho would transition from half guard to side control and back, until Kingad turned facing the canvas, leaving him at the mercy of Moraes who gained the back. He then executed a rear naked choke (RNC) within just 15 seconds of the end of round 1 giving Moraes the win.
4. Vs. Tilek Batyrov – ONE: Heroes of the World (Aug. 13, 2016)
After pulling off an impressive win over Eugene Toquero, Moraes’ next step to winning his second world title was to fight against Tilek “Baatyr” Batyrov for the Interim Flyweight Championship.
In round 1, Moraes countered Batyrov’s right cross with a perfectly-timed takedown, straight into full guard, following up with an impressive Daki Age.
As soon as the fighters returned to their feet, Batyrov began to put the pressure on Moraes, scoring with a flurry of punches, and defending another takedown. While Batyrov failed to gain a submission, he still gained the edge in the striking department.
Although Moraes came back strong in round 2 with a counter takedown, he struggled to gain the back, as Batyrov was quick to his feet, but when he got too close, Moraes met Batyrov with a desperate flying knee.
However, Batyrov caught him and went to secure a guillotine choke. Moraes suddenly leapt into the air, landing in half guard, and so avoiding the choke hold.
Once Moraes transitioned into north-south position, he started unloading some dangerous knee strikes to the head.
Eventually, Moraes gained control of Batyrov’s back, securing a rear naked choke for the submission win at 4:49 of round 2.
Mikinho managed to overcome the Combat Sambo Champion, thus winning the Interim title, advancing him one step closer to reclaiming his crown.
3. Vs. Kosuke Suzuki – ONE: Era of Champions (June 14, 2014)
After a rough debut at ONE Championship, Moraes bounced back, scoring a submission win over former Shooto Champion, Yasuhiro Urushitani. Now squaring off against Kosuke “Rambo” Suzuki, this fight would determine the number one contender for the Flyweight Championship.
At the start of round 1, Moraes engaged with Suzuki in stand-up, before shooting for the double-leg takedown, he then grabbed the single-leg, scoring a second takedown.
While Suzuki scored two submission attempts, Mikinho escaped, gaining the half guard, before performing an impressive fireman’s carry throw.
Ending round 1, Moraes greeted Suzuki with a resounding kick to the body, and a double-leg takedown together with an arm-triangle attempt.
Round 2 began with Moraes striving for a flying knee, before shooting for a double-leg, but Suzuki caught him by surprise, reversing it into a slick crucifix. Moraes broke free, but failed to gain the back, with Suzuki scoring a double-leg takedown of his own.
Escaping a guillotine choke, Suzuki, however, was able to mount Moraes’ back where he began thrusting knees to the head.
Despite being at a distinct disadvantage, Moraes managed to escape the kimura attempt, eventually returning to his feet.
Back in the centre, it didn’t take long for Moraes to counter a left hook with a single-leg takedown.
Moving into round 3, Moraes intercepted another left hook from his opponent, taking Suzuki down once again. Suzuki got back to his feet momentarily, but Moraes brought him back down into half guard.
It wasn’t until Suzuki made a feeble attempt to escape that Moraes caught him in an arm-triangle choke, forcing him to submit, declaring Mikinho the winner at 1:35 of round 3.
2. Vs. Eugene Toquero – ONE: Union of Warriors (March 18, 2016)
Moraes had his eyes set on reclaiming his title after losing it to Kairat Akhmetov. The only thing standing in his way was Filipino fighter, Eugene Toquero, possessing an 8-2 record.
Eugene wasted no time, starting round 1 with a knee strike, only to be countered by Moraes’ takedown. A half guard was suddenly reversed by Eugene who struck an elbow on Mikinho before the two returned to stand-up.
Moraes’ experience outperformed Eugene’s as he countered two of his body kicks with a right cross and a single-leg takedown. Eugene stubbornly resisted Moraes’ mount, pushing him off and springing back up.
Without hesitation, Eugene erupted with a flying knee, stunning the former champion. The impact left Moraes dazed, giving Eugene the chance to engage with a solid uppercut and a knee to the face.
In an act of desperation, Moraes shot for a double-leg takedown, surviving the onslaught.
After having a cut above his eye patched, Moraes sought to close the curtain, starting with his fourth takedown in the fight.
Once transitioned into side control, Moraes began laying down some nasty elbows and knees to the head, before moving to half guard, and proceeding to latch on a Brabo Choke, forcing Eugene to tap out at 4:53 of round 1.
1. Vs. Demetrious Johnson – ONE on TNT 1 (April 7, 2021)
Moraes’ faced his biggest challenge to date in facing former, long-reigning UFC champion, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, winner of the Flyweight Grand Prix having swept the competition and granting him a title shot.
Utilizing his reach advantage, Moraes circled the cage, forcing Johnson to pursue. Johnson however, managed to plant a right hand and applied the clinch where he began thrusting with knee strikes.
Back to the centre, Moraes landed a sharp kick to the body, provoking Johnson to respond with a body kick of his own, only to be intercepted by the champion – Mighty Mouse however, managed to defend a takedown attempt.
Failing to secure a heel hook, Moraes kept Johnson in full guard, landing some ground-and-pound before the end of round 1.
Sticking to his initial strategy in round 2, Moraes kept his distance, while evading Johnson’s attempted strikes and landing some shots of his own.
The moment of truth came when Johnson got caught by a stunning flying knee. In the midst of Mighty Mouse’s frustration, Moraes stunned the former UFC Champion with a perfectly timed uppercut, culminating with a knee to the head, followed by ground-and-pound before the referee stepped in to end the fight at 2:24 of round 2.
This staggering upset not only earned Mikinho the MMA Knockout of the Year for 2021, but also the accolade of being the first fighter to defeat the acclaimed Mighty Mouse via knockout!