American Top Team stars are sticking together ahead of ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on May 5. ONE Championship’s U.S. debut will feature two ATT talents on the docket, with Adriano Moraes headlining the night in a ONE flyweight world title trilogy match against Demetrious Johnson, and Alyse Anderson taking on Stamp Fairtex in a high-stakes atomweight brawl.
Although he won’t be competing on the historic card, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida will be on hand to support and give guidance to his teammates inside Denver’s 1stBank Center this weekend.
When discussing his thoughts on the evening’s much-anticipated main event, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu icon says that he’s confident Moraes will get the job done.
“I think the third one [between Johnson and Moraes] will seal the deal. They’re at one [win] each, so one victory, one knockout for each side. I think, of course, that’s not how Moraes planned this to happen. But at the end of the day, it puts more spice on the fight,” Buchecha told ONE.
Buchecha has witnessed his Brazilian compatriot’s training camp first-hand at the American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek, Florida.
He says that Moraes’ has transformed since suffering a knockout loss to Johnson in their rematch last August, and that his motivation to reclaim the ONE flyweight world championship will stun fans in Colorado on Friday.
“I could see that, during training, his mindset changed completely. His technique [too]. He’s like a completely new fighter, and I can’t wait for May 5. It’s going to be amazing. I really can’t wait to be there, the first [ONE event on] American soil, so it’s going to be a huge one,” Almeida said.
“Moraes is the kind of guy that learns even in victories. He takes a lot of lessons from that. He’s the guy who learns with the victories, so you can bet that a loss in the last one, the last defeat, he knows all the mistakes that he did and [that] he could do better.”
It is no surprise that the unbeaten heavyweight star is picking his friend to win the gold. And much like the first two bouts, which have ended with a knee knockout for each man, Buchecha believes the trilogy bout won’t go to the scorecards.
“I think Moraes, TKO, third round,” said Buchecha.
“Mikinho” himself took time out his preparation for Friday night to offer his thoughts on how he sees fellow American Top Team standout Anderson’s battle with Stamp going down at ONE Fight Night 10.
The Michigan native switched her camps to ATT last year and has been working intently on her all-around game since.
With the possibility of an interim atomweight world title shot on the line, “Lil’ Savage’s” match against the Thai superstar has a lot at stake.
“She’s a great fighter. She has very good jiu-jitsu and has been improving her striking and doing the transitions very well. I am very happy to see her evolving,” Moraes told ONE.
“We have trained grappling and striking together. She has been evolving a lot. Her wrestling has been improving a lot. She’s more comfortable with her striking and has more power in jiu-jitsu.”
One of the reasons that Moraes is confident in his teammate’s success is that he believes she has a noticeable advantage in one particular area.
Stamp is a devastating striker, but she is still developing her grappling – and that is where “Lil’ Savage” will take control.
“This is a good fight for her to show her evolution and put her name into the [world title] challenger position,” Moraes said.
“She needs to blend her wrestling alongside her jiu-jitsu. This can help her nullify Stamp’s striking, which is her strong point. From there, I see her being able to impose her game.
“I believe she can submit Stamp or, if she is on top, land effective blows.”
ONE Fight Night 10 airs live on Friday, May 5, from the 1stBank Center in Colorado. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Prime Video and is free for all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers.