Last night, ONE Championship made their US primetime debut on TNT. There was a ton of hype behind this event and because of it, the Singapore-based promotion put their two biggest American stars on the card.
The two-fight card kicked off at 10 PM ET in the US and it started out with the former UFC lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez (30-8, 1 NC). Alvarez was set to take on the rising contender, Iuri Lapicus (14-1).
Early in the first round, the former UFC champion was able to get the fight to the ground. The two men were along the fence and Alvarez started doing damage. The referee warned Alvarez about using shots to the back of the head.
Alvarez fired with several shots that he believed to be on the ear, but the referee stopped the action. The referee deemed the shots to be to the back of the head and Iuri Lapicus was rewarded the DQ win at ONE on TNT 1.
ONE Championship’s Tough Night
Definitely not the start that ONE Championship was looking for in their first US primetime fight. Alvarez was beside himself and extremely emotional after the fight was ruled a disqualification.
After that fight was over, the attention shifted to Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (30-4-1). Johnson was looking to become the ONE flyweight champion by taking out the current champion, Adriano Moraes (18-3).
Mighty Mouse is considered by many to be one of the greatest to ever do it. He reigned of the UFC’s flyweight division for years before being dethroned by Henry Cejudo. After that fight, Johnson was traded in a historic transaction to ONE Championship.
Mighty Mouse had gone 3-0 to start his career in ONE Championship which earned him the title shot. However, Moraes was going to be a tough opponent. In the first round, Moraes was able to get top position on the ground and really did a good job of controlling the former UFC champion.
In the second round, Moraes was able to catch Johnson coming in with a beautiful uppercut that hurt Mighty Mouse. A flush knee followed and Moraes got the TKO victory to retain his flyweight championship.
With these two results, it was not the night that ONE Championship was looking for. On one hand, it does give a lot of visibility to Adriano Moraes, but the promotion had to be hoping for a big night from their American stars and they got everything but.