I recently caught up with One Championship Flyweight title holder Adriano “Black Diamond” Moraes before his March 13 Age Of Champions bout, against the dangerous Riku Shibuya. Here is what he had to say about his journey through MMA and how he plans to retain the title.
Can you explain your fighting style to fans who may not know?
“I do not have a specific fighting style. I like to mix the martial arts that I practice (judo, brazilian jiu jitsu, muay thai and boxing). People usually mention that my footwork is unorthodox. I prefer being aggressive and look for the finish before the end of the fight. I am versed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (brown belt) and Muay Thai (dark blue kruang) and also fought in amateur boxing. I don’t like to bore people, I like to give a good show for the audience.”
What brought you into the world of MMA? Who did you look up to while you rose up the ranks?
“I´ve been involved with martial arts for a long time. My first MMA fight happened 3 years ago in a small city near from Brasilia (my city). I decided to fight MMA by myself because I thought it would be a natural path for me because I was already versed in martial arts.”
What does a day in training camp look like for you?
“Tough as hell. My training partners beat me up in all the sparring sessions. But I know they are pushing me to struggle and achieve higher levels in the fight.”
Can you tell me a bit about the mind state you need to have as a fighter?
“Every fighter thinks different. I try to focus on my skills and my training camp and forget the opponents and media. I try to don’t waste my energy on things like that.”
What do you think your opponents strengths are?
“Shibuya is a very tough fighter and he is going to be a challenge. I´ve watched a couple of fights and I liked what I saw: Heavy striking game, very good wrestling skills and also good BJJ. In other words, he is a well rounded fighter. I like to fight against guys like them. In my career position I can’t choose opponents, I only accept them. I think it is going to be a very exciting fight. Don´t blink.”
What are your keys to victory?
“I don´t have an established strategy on my mind. Shibuya has no lacks in his MMA game so the best thing to do is feel the fight and wait for the best shot.”