Moraes vs. Mikami headlines ONE Championship 25 at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and "Mikinho" plans on finishing the night with a submission over Mikami, who hasn’t been finished in almost seven years as a professional MMA fighter.
"I’m ready to fight him standing or fight wherever the fight goes, but my goal is always to use my jiu-jitsu," Moraes told MMAFighting.com. "I’m a jiu-jitsu black belt and he was never submitted in MMA, but I’ve fought other guys that haven’t been submitted before and I still submitted them. I believe this fight won’t be any different. I can submit him, and I can tap him fast."
Moraes went 3-0 inside the ONE Championship cage in 2014 with three submission victories. After an intense two-month training camp at Brasilia’s Constrictor Team, "Mikinho" feels confident.
"Misaki was a champion in a different promotion in Japan, hasn’t lost in years, and I believe he’s going to be a big challenge in my career. And I like those type of fights," he said. "Big challenges make big warriors.
"He’s undefeated over the past 12 fights, and that’s great. I like it because that makes him more confident. He’s too cocky, too confident, and I like fighting guys like that. I feel at home. When he steps inside my cage, he’s going to feel it. He’s a big challenge, but I’m going to win."
Both champion and challenger made weight on Thursday’s official weigh-ins in Kuala Lumpur, and Moraes anticipates a war on Friday after an intense face-off.
"The weigh-in was insane," Moraes said. "We stared each other and I could feel how this fight is going to be. Mikami is really coming to try to take my belt. At that moment, I knew it’s going to be a war and that I’m going to give my live to keep this title in Brazil."
Mikami vows to take Moraes’ belt on Friday, but he wasn’t the original challenger ONE Championship has in mind for the 125-pound gold.
"They signed Mikami because the other fighter that was expected to fight me has some personal issues and couldn’t take the fight," said Moraes, who declined to reveal the fighter’s name. "I believe he should be the one next for the title, though."
By then, Moraes hopes to be seen as one of the best flyweight fighters in the world.
"I expect my work to be recognized around the world," he said. "I need sponsors, and I need everybody to recognize my talent. People focus too much on the UFC, but ONE Championship is a great promotion and has everything to become the biggest MMA promotion in the world. I believe I’m a great fighter. I might not be the best of the world right now, but I’m among the best. And I can become the number one."