Ahead of his big rematch with Adriano Moraes, Demetrious Johnson feels like he knows where he made his mistakes in their first fight in 2021. The bout saw Johnson upset as Moraes knocked him out with a grounded knee in round two.
“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.”
As we mentioned yesterday in our Revisiting Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes: How Can DJ win? section one of the key adjustments for Johnson is that he needed to exercise more patience. Moraes doesn’t engage and waits for his opponents to make a mistake, as Johnson said he saw in Moraes’ last title defense.
“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 over committing.”
Demetrious Johnson knows what he has to do
The fact that Johnson says Adriano Moraes doesn’t engage isn’t a slight at the Brazilian. He knows just how good Moraes is and knows he has to go out there and make something happen.
“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].”
Unlike the Cejudo fight, which Johnson had famously won in their original meeting, Adriano Moraes is a different challenge. Johnson isn’t up 1-0 on him. He’s down 0-1 in their series. He sees this as something to prove for himself.
“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.”
Demetrious Johnson and Adriano Moraes rematch on ONE 161 on August 26th live on Amazon Prime!
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.