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Zorobabel Moreira determined to get back to winning ways at ONE: 'Dynasty of Champions'

Zorobabel Moreira was one of the most popular fighters to emerge during ONE Championship's early years (when it was known as ONE FC). He was featured on four of the first six cards and it was a major upset when the Brazilian was beaten by Kotetsu Boku in a fight for the organization's inaugural 155-pound belt.

The Brazilian is a decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt who has won gold at the Mundials but in mixed martial arts (MMA) circles he is better known for his striking and has worked hard to master a number of Muay Thai techniques since joining Evolve MMA in Singapore. He's coming off back-to-back losses but in both fights Moreira dominated for the first 10 minutes before fading in the third round.

Against Boku he was simply caught with a close to perfect punch and never recovered, but in the fight with Ando last November, Moreira appeared to tire and he thinks "ring rust" might have been a factor.

"Yes, I think I was more nervous than normal because it was my first fight for more than two years and I probably used up too much energy in rounds one and two. I've been training very hard with the trainers at Evolve MMA to ensure this does not happen again."

Moreira, who will be facing Christian Holley at ONE: "Dynasty of Champions" later this month, used a boxing based strategy against Ando. It was a slight change of style which worked very well until fatigue set in and he credits his training team with devising the gameplan.

"Normally I use my kicks and knees more than my punches, but the boxing champions at Evolve MMA like Yodsanan Sityodtong and Sanghiran Lookbanyai helped prepare me for this fight because we thought boxing would work well against Ando and I think it was a good gameplan."

Holley holds a 10-1 professional record although like Moreira he is coming off a loss. Their fight will be the co-main event at the Guangzhou Gymnasium on June 20th and the Brazilian admits he's unsure what to expect.

"I don't know too much about him but he is strong, has many fast finishes on his record. I leave it to my Evolve MMA coaches like Heath Sims and Nontachai (Sit O) or Namsaknoi (Yudthagarngamtorn) to watch my opponent's fights and to give me a good strategy to win the fight."

Four of Moreria's five ONE Championship fights have taken place in his adopted home of Singapore and the furthest he has had to travel to compete since signing for Asia's biggest MMA organization is Kuala Lumpur. Guangzhou is a little further afield but the Brazilian is excited to be showcasing his skills in China for the first time.

"In martial arts China is very important and I have watched a lot of Kung Fu movies, so it will be a good experience to fight there. I hope the Chinese fans will be happy with my perfomance."

Moreira's last win was in 2012 when he knocked Roger Huerta out cold with a soccer kick (GIF). Since then he has only fought twice but the Brazilian says he has found his natural training rhythm and hopes to be back to his best at ONE: "Dynasty of Champions."

"When you come back to training after a long time away it is very hard because your body is not used to it like before. I have been back at Evolve MMA for nearly 10 months now and I am feeling very good. I think you will see the best 'Zoro' in China and this time I am ready to fight for three rounds."