ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes (16-2) has Brazilian jiu-jitsu to thank for transforming his life. Not only did it keep him from a life on the streets simply by giving him a focus, but his dedication to the art has brought him to the top of the martial arts world.
A feared submission specialist, the 29-year-old black belt has brought his skills to bear in the cage many times, as more than half of his 17 victories have come by a variety of chokes.
Citing the style of his professor Ataíde Junior, from whom he learned his trade, Moraes explains, “In Brazil we study how to choke like a snake. That is why the team name is Constrictor Team. It is important to learn the foundations of jiu-jitsu first, and practice lots so that your body and mind have a connection.”
As Moraes prepares to face a new slew of top contenders in 2018, he lists his three favorite chokes, all of which we have seen him execute in the cage throughout his celebrated tenure in ONE Championship.
The rear-naked choke, or Mata Leão (“Lion Killer”), as it is known in Brazil, is one of the most dominating and efficient ways to choke an opponent.
Moraes has submitted his adversaries several times in professional competition with this move, most recently at ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD, where he choked out Danny Kingad to successfully defend his ONE Flyweight World Championship.
The reason he is particularly fond of this choke is because the position allows for many other options, which can increase your chances of getting the end result you want – a tap out.
“You have a great position and lots of time. You can attack the neck or go for the armbar from the back.”
As well as winning his professional debut with a guillotine, “Mikinho” also finished Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio with this submission at ONE: RISE OF THE KINGDOM in September 2014, and claim the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Championship.
The efficiency in this technique, he asserts, comes from conscious practice and repetition.
“You can never repeat the technique too much. You want to be like a snake that has its food, and then you’ll know when to put on the squeeze at the correct time.”
Efficiency and killer instinct are key attributes of BJJ, and to the Brazilian, it means more than the accumulation of individual techniques.
Arm-Triangle And Brabo Chokes
With similar mechanisms, Moraes does not have mutually exclusive names for these techniques, instead preferring to see them as a variation of the same move. These head and arm chokes are extremely effective from almost anywhere, with the attack coming from both the attacker’s arm and the opponent’s shoulder.
“I have long arms, so my arm triangle entry is good,” he explains, noting that he likes to work from half-guard, side control, or the sprawl position for this submission.