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Midnight Mania! Adriano Moraes crushes Demetrious Johnson with devastating, legal grounded knee

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UFC 227 Dillashaw v Garbrandt 2 Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

It probably wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

When planning One Championship’s debut on TNT, the promotion could not have predicted that Eddie Alvarez was suffer a highly questionable disqualification loss, nor did it likely expect Adriano Moraes — a roughly 5-1 underdog — to stop “Mighty Mouse” in the second round. The Brazilian started strong, using a leg lock to gain top position in the first frame. His advantage grew in the second when an uppercut rocked the advancing Johnson, who then landed in prime position to absorb a vicious grounded knee.

For those unaware, such knees are legal in One Championship.

Just like that, two former UFC champions suffered losses in very different ways. The night stood as an odd comparison: Alvarez punched his opponent near the ear with seemingly legal blows, and he was disqualified. Johnson, meanwhile, was melted with the same type of knee that cost Petr Yan his Bantamweight strap, but that’s allowed! Compare the two finishes below:

To add an extra element of irony, Johnson has been very vocally arguing for legalized ground knees. After the Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling incident, Johnson gave some rather extensive interviews about his beliefs on the subject:

Johnson has used grounded knees to his advantage in previous One bouts, so this is a definite case of live by the sword, die by the sword. Similar to UFC 259’s controversial Bantamweight title fight, this outcome has fans and pundits online debating the legality of grounded knees.

In this case, the strike was used smartly to produce a clean finish. It was not gratuitous overkill, but the grounded knee did finish off one of the greatest fighters of all time. Whatever your stance on the controversial rule, it’s a definite game-changer.


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