Demetrious Johnson was handed the primary knockout defeat of his profession in his ONE Championship flyweight title battle in opposition to Adriano Moraes on Wednesday evening.
In one other main shock for the promotion, fellow former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez was controversially disqualified in his battle in opposition to Iuri Lapicus for allegedly aiming photographs to the again of the top.
Pound-for-pound nice Johnson is without doubt one of the greatest fighters within the historical past of the sport as he left the UFC in 2018 after 11 title defences throughout a glittering six-year interval.
But he was brutally stopped for the primary time in his profession as Moraes outlined his championship credentials with a savage proper uppercut to stun ‘Mighty Mouse’ earlier than a knee to the face.
Though unlawful within the United States, ONE Championship permits knees to grounded opponents and Moraes capitalised on his stricken opponent.
Johnson had referred to as for the usage of knees within the UFC for years earlier than quitting the promotion, and simply final month tweeting his emotions about how he felt the principles ought to be modified.
With ONE Championship debuting on American community TNT for the primary time, the newly-captivated viewers would have endured additional dismay at seeing former UFC and Bellator light-weight champion disqualified after simply 58 seconds.
Having secured a takedown in opposition to Lapicus, ‘The Underground King’ started to unleash a torrent of punches to his downed opponent – but the referee deemed them to be to the again of the top.
Alvarez had not fought since August 2019 and was visibly distraught on the finish of the competition, along with his emotional plea capturing the hearts of followers afterwards.
“Iuri was turning his head the opposite manner and the ref warned me,” Alvarez stated in a post-fight interview with Mitch Chilson.
“He stated to me, ‘Again of the top Eddie’, so that you see me take my hand and begin shoving his head towards my punch.
“So long as it’s the ear, it’s authorized, however you guys put me in a cage, the referee’s right here … no matter name he makes, I apologise.
“I hope Iuri is completely positive as a result of this sport is so harmful,” Alvarez added, choking again tears.
“And all I care about is that everyone in right here sincerely is protected and may return to their household after they’re achieved.
“I’m praying for Iuri however you set me in a cage, I don’t know what to do in right here. I’m attempting to outlive. You bought to respect the ref’s name however I’m doing my greatest in right here. Prayers exit to Iuri proper now.
“I apologise, truthfully, I simply jeep pondering of Iuri on a stretcher as a result of I’ve been on that facet earlier than and it’s sort of messing me up. I simply acquired to know Iuri’s positive.
“American followers, that is what we promise, they put two guys in a metal cage, what would you like? The ref’s right here to do it and he did his greatest job, so the decision’s the decision.”