ONE X: Adriano Moraes Catches Neck, Submits Yuya Wakamatsu

Adriano Moraes and Yuya Wakamatsu, ONE X
Adriano Moraes and Yuya Wakamatsu, ONE X face-off Credit: ONE Championship

How does one follow up a win over the biggest flyweight star of all time? That was the question Adriano Moraes was faced with at ONE X, as he put his title on the line against Yuya Wakamatsu.

For Brazil’s Moraes, the bout was his first title defense since stopping GOAT candidate Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson last year. Despite the win, it should not go unnoticed that Johnson was still billed ahead of the champ on Saturday’s ONE X card.

Moraes would do his best to prove worthy of the spotlight in Singapore, getting the job done in a fight that played out in fits and starts.

Opening up Saturday’s flyweight title fight, Moraes stayed on the outside, but while Yuya held center early, his offense was slow to get going. Instead, it was Moraes with some light touches while the pair felt each other out and found their timing.

Still, the action with sparse, with two warnings for stalling given in the opening round of the title fight.

The pair would come together just ahead of the three minute mark, trading knees in the clinch. Back at range, Moraes would fire a leg kick, but the real action came in the final minute, with the pair going to the ground and the champ getting on top. Wakamatsu was able to escape, however, with the champ giving up his back briefly as they scrambled to their feet.

Round two started with a higher pace, the pair scrambling out of a takedown attempt and Moraes firing a jump knee in the opening minute. They would settle in a little; Wakamatsu would then drive Moraes back to the fence. The Japanese fighter employed an underhook and had good head position, but Moraes was able to escape. In the final minute, the champ, who also found success with leg kicks throughout the round, connected with a right hand, and launched another jump knee. Wakamatsu would fire back with a right hand.

Barely a minute into round three, the ref broke out a yellow card for a lack of action — a rather bizarre move given the second had been relatively action-packed, and the third had barely gotten going. Wakamatsu would tie the champ up by the fence after that; back at center, the action was briefly halted to trim some dangling tape off one of Moraes’ gloves.

On the restart, Moraes fired a jumping kick, but Wakamatsu landed a key takedown near the midway mark. That was followed by a knee to the head of the champ, who seemed to survive unscathed. The challenger could not keep Moraes there, but when the Brazilian got to his feet, Wakamatsu took him right back down.

After another escape by Moraes, the pair moved back to center. And just as it felt like we might be in for the full twenty-five minutes, Wakamatsu committed a critical error, and gave up his neck. Moraes caught him in a guillotine, and that forced the tap!

Official Result: Adriano Moraes def. Yuya Wakamatsu by submission (guillotine choke), Round 3, 3:58