ONE returns to American television with two of their American aces ready for battle after lengthy hiatuses.
Demetrious Johnson (30-3, 1 draw) has made the most of his time away from the UFC, blazing through tough opposition to rack up three straight wins and win the flyweight tournament. His ONE debut was what you’d expect from an all-time great, finishing VTJ and Pancrase vet Yuya Wakamatsu with a vicious Marcelotine. Two decision wins later against crafty fighters Danny Kingad and Tatsumitsu Wada, and he’s challenging for yet another world title.
And this one should be excellent, because Adriano Moraes (18-3) is a submission ace that forces opponents into spots that create very bad situations for them, constantly. Having gone 2-1 against former champ Geje Eustaquio and 1-1 against Kairat Akhmetov, he’s bounced back from some tough losses to find way to win. The pace, speed and athleticism that Johnson brings will be a major test, though. This is a perfect pick for a main event bout.
Also making his return? None other than Eddie Alvarez (30-7), who has been out of action since August of 2019. While his ONE debut didn’t go as planned against Timofey Nastyukin, he made a major statement upon his return against former champ Eduard Folayang using some stellar grappling skills. He’s also going to have to make the most of those skills, because his opponent Iuri Lapicus (14-1) has some serious submission savvy of his own. His wins over Shannon Wiratchai and Marat Gafurov were aggressive displays of groundwork, and he’s got a chance at a career-altering win over a legend in this fight.
Former Fight Nights Global prospect Raimond Magomedaliev (7-1) is another one to keep your eye on. He has some impressive wins over quality opposition on his record, and he’ll try to make it three in a row as he meets American Tyler McGuire (12-1).
Now, this card did have some reshuffling done at the last minute. Both Marcus “Buchecha“ Almeida and Medhi Barghi withdrew from fighting against Reug Reug, while Rade Opacic bowed out of his kickboxing match against Patrick Schmid. Now Schmid makes his pro MMA debut against Reug Reug under MMA rules.
What’s the worst that could happen?
We’ll also get to see Rodtang in action. More Rodtang is always good. Always.
Here’s the lineup for the bouts for the event. As a reminder, all fights are technically taking place a weight class above what is listed.
Adriano Moraes vs Demetrious Johnson - Flyweight title fight
Eddie Alvarez vs Iuri Lapicus - Lightweight
Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs Danial Williams - Muay Thai bout
Tyler McGuire vs Raimond Magomedaliev - Welterweight
Chingiz Allazov vs Enriko Kehl - Kickboxing match
Oumar Kane “Reug Reug“ vs Patrick Schmid - Heavyweight
ONE on TNT 1: Moraes vs Johnson takes place this Wednesday with online prelims starting at 8:30pm EST and the main card on TNT Network starting at 10:00pm.