On Wednesday, Demetrious
will attempt to crash the three-horse race that has
been the One Championship flyweight division for the
last six years.

“Mighty Mouse,” the longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship 125-pound
titleholder, won his new promotion’s flyweight Grand Prix just over
a year ago, and with it, the right to challenge divisional champ
. Johnson professes to be very content with One’s
135-pound flyweight limit and hydration policy, and this week’s
title fight is the first step in what may be another long,
legacy-building run.

While Johnson is a healthy favorite to wrest the title from Moraes
One Championship on TNT 1
, win or lose he is guaranteed to
disrupt the championship round robin in which Moraes, Kairat
and Geje
have passed the belt around like a hot potato since
the division’s inception. While the three men are all closely
matched — four of their five fights have gone to the judges,
including two split decisions — Moraes is clearly the first among
near-equals. It is fitting that he will be the man standing across
from Johnson, ready to show himself either a placeholder, or a
truly world-class fighter in his own right.

Here is the history of the One Championship flyweight title and the
times it was won, lost or defended. It tells the story of a
division that has enjoyed parity, and delivered a lot of fun
fights, but may be about to become One’s glamour division.

Duffy/ illustration