As the pages fall away from the calendar, Adriano Moraes nears his highly-anticipated rematch with Demetrious Johnson at ONE on Prime Video 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II on Friday, August 26.
The ONE Flyweight World Championship will once again hang in the balance while providing Moraes an opportunity to shine in front of a U.S. primetime audience.
The Brazilian has been focused on constant improvement ahead of the second meeting with "Mighty Mouse," knowing that the American will come into the ONE Championship Circle reinvigorated to knock him off his perch.
"I seek to improve every day as an athlete and as a human being. I believe that is still my main objective," said Moraes.
"But I'm training to get there well on the day of the fight because I want to get there, in addition to being well prepared, without any injuries, which is my main focus. We are working hard, daily, so that I can arrive very focused and trained for the next fight."
But it is not a rivalry built on bad blood. Moraes and Johnson have deep levels of respect for one another.
Moraes not only recognizes the benefit of getting a win over one of the greatest martial arts athletes to ever compete but he is also inspired by the legacy that he has already built. He is a student of the game, and Johnson has left a career's worth of teachings on the mat.
"Demetrious Johnson is a great athlete and a great example in and out of the cage. What he has already done and continues to do for MMA is something great," said Moraes.
"It's great to have him in ONE Championship because everything he's done in MMA is something that inspires us. I am very grateful that he is still active and giving us the opportunity to learn from him."
"Mikinho" hopes to turn those teachings against the Washington native for a second time.
Moraes has been keeping tabs on the top-ranked flyweight challenger and has seen that he has spent time alongside Henry Cejudo in preparation for the rematch.
Although he expects those workouts to pay dividends, the Brazilian still predicts a finish to retain the ONE Flyweight World Championship.
"It's very cool that he is training with Henry Cejudo and looking to evolve as an athlete. I believe he will be very well prepared for this fight. Henry Cejudo can help him a lot with several requirements. But let's see if this will help him in his next fight," said Moraes.
"This is a fight that will be very busy. I believe the DJ will be very hungry for this rematch, but I still believe I can submit him in the third or fourth round."
Moraes vs. Johnson will headline ONE on Prime Video 1 on Friday, August 26, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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