One FC’ s Zorobabel Moreira Explains Soccer Kick Finish of Roger Huerta

June 25, 2012
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If you didn’t know the name Zorobabel Moreira prior to last weekend’s One FC event, you probably remember him now after his vicious soccer kick knockout win over Roger Huerta.

Moreira took the fight on short notice and jumped up to welterweight to accept the fight with Huerta. The Brazilian dismantled the former UFC fighter and finished the bout in the 2nd round with a soccer kick that rang back to the days of Pride Fighting Championships.

The finish didn’t come without some controversy due to the rules upheld by One FC that allow for kicks on a downed opponent only when the referee gives the fighter the okay to do so. There has been some controversy about the finish since it happened so Moreira sat down with and explained the fight, the win and the finish as well as what’s next:

Damon Martin: Congratulations on a great win first of all…let me start by asking if the fight went down how you and your coaches had prepared for it to happen?

Zorbabel Moreira: The game plan was to use my Muay Thai by keeping my distance and use a lot of footwork. But after the 1st round, my coach Chatri Sityodtong changed the plan and told me to apply forward pressure and attack to force Roger to move backwards. We got the KO from there and I am lucky to have someone like Chatri in my corner, he help me a lot tonight.

DM: We know that you are a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter by heart but lately you’ve been showing off some really solid stand-up. How confident were you in your hands going into that fight?

ZM: I believe in my Muay Thai. I train under the best world champions every day at Evolve MMA like Lamanamoon (Sor Sumalee) and Namsaknoi (Yudthagarngamtorn). I believe in my coaches and I feel like if I am trained by the best fighters I can fight with the best fighters no problem.

DM: Both you and Roger took this fight at welterweight but are both truly lightweights so how was the extra weight for you in the fight? Did it affect you at all?

ZM: No, I can fight both weights, it was nice not having to cut the weight but I feel I am a lightweight and in future I prefer to fight at lightweight. If One FC want me to fight at welterweight then I can do that but I feel like 155 is better for me because I can make that weight no problem and I feel good at a 155.

DM: In the 2nd round you started to find a home for you kicks, and you blasted Roger with a straight right I believe that pretty much changed the fight. Can you walk us through that sequence and did you feel that you had broken him at that point in the fight?

ZM: Yes my coaches told me that he was breaking. He’s tough and everyone thought that he was going to knock me out. I just listened to my coaches Chatri Sityodtong and Heath Sims, I trust them and they told me what I have to do and it worked. Chatri changed the plan after the first round and told me what to do and because of that I was able to win the fight in round two.

DM: As far as the stoppage goes, obviously the soccer kick is allowed but you didn’t look like you really wanted to throw it. What was running through your mind at that moment and seeing the result would you say that you’re a fan of the soccer kick in MMA?

ZM: Before I threw it, I looked at referee and he gave me signal and I threw it. Against Andy Wang I did not throw it as I was adapting to the rules but now I love the Pride rules, this is Asian MMA. Roger is a very tough fighter so I had to do everything to win this fight and when I had a chance to knock him out I had to take it.

DM: It appeared like the referee said something or motioned something when Huerta went down. What happened there?

ZM: For ONE FC rules, the fighter must wait for the open attack signal that allows soccer kicks. The referee gave the signal and I took the kick. Roger is very dangerous opponent and if you fight against very good fighter like this and you have opportunity to finish the fight you must take it, otherwise maybe you lose. He has fought UFC and is strong and tough, if you have a chance to finish a fight against an opponent like this you must take or who knows what may happen after? Maybe if you wait you lose.

DM: On a very positive note, this is another huge win for you and over a very big star from America in Roger Huerta. How would you rank this achievement in your career?

ZM: It is just one more win. I train hard every day and I learn from the best trainers in the world and I have the best training partners in the world at Evolve MMA. This is what I love, this is my dream and I am so happy because I get to train with the best and I fight I feel like now I can fight with the best. Roger Huerta is a very tough fighter, very strong but I train with world champions every day at Evolve MMA and I am prepared for everything. I do not think any opponent can be harder for me than what I have to go through with the training when I wrestle with Heath Sims and do Muay Thai with Lamnamoon Sor Sumalee and BJJ with Gordinho and boxing with Yodsaenklai. Nothing can be harder than that. I am ready for anyone, I do not care. I will fight anyone.

DM: What can we expect to see next from Zorobabel Moreira in One FC? Back at lightweight? What fights interest you?

ZM: Yes I want to fight at lightweight. I will fight against anyone in the world, I am ready to fight anyone but it is up to One FC. When they want me to fight I will fight.

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  • So apparently the “Open Attack Signal” is when the ref goes “NO KICK, NO KICK!!!!””

  • adam1848

    That kick was shameful, this organization is a joke, and that ref should be banned. Absolutely disgraceful for all of MMA.

    • The fault all lies on the ref.

      That fight would have been stopped long before Huerta’s head was lined up for a direct kick by any competent referee. Huerta did the stanky leg at least twice and had been out on his feet for about a minute.

      When Roger finally hit the ground, he wasn’t defending himself AT ALL, he was on all fours (making the kick illegal by OnfFC rules) and that HORRIBLE ref should have gotten in there to PROTECT THE FIGHTER – also known as, you know, doing his job.

  • adam1848

    I agree, but the whole idea that in the middle of a fight a guy should “check with the ref” to see if something is legal at that moment or not is absurd. Even a good ref would have difficulty officiating under those circumstances, and this ref was clearly horrible. Soccer kicks and stomps to a downed opponent are illegal in all real organizations for a reason, and this is exactly that reason. I just hope OneFC goes under before somebody gets seriously hurt.

  • smill0313

    Rule changes in the middle of a fight is literally the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. What a joke.

  • RubeKegal

    Pretty much in agreeance with rest of comments. Hope OneFC goes under quick. Protect your fighters, don’t bastardize them.

  • all I can say is “GOOOAAALLLL” !! haha he got KTFO haha I Loved it

    • RubeKegal

      I hope your mom gets soccer kicked unconscious.

  • Now This is fighng… Damn i miss pride, the true VALE TUDO

  • D-rail

    thaianeivyen’s little asian vagina got wet when he saw this shameles tacky promotion at it’s best. You’re probably the ref dude…..

  • jasperwong

    Personally, I think the kick was legal. Roger Huerta was on the ground, and looked like he was pursuing the single leg takedown. Yuji Shimada (the ref) shouted “LOW KICK, LOW KICK” not “no kick no kick”.

    But whatever it is, ONE FC has put Asian MMA back on the world map. Bringing back all the kick ass action. We are MMA fans, we love this sport because it is raw and it tells a story about who the best fighter is. No more turtling up, no more putting one finger on the ground to avoid getting kneed, no more pulling guard unnecessarily. This is FOR REAL, THIS IS WHY WE LOVE THIS SPORT.

    if not, enjoy watching fitch lying on top of his opponent for 15 minutes. or Guida / Maynard week after week after week… nuff said.

    • RubeKegal

      If you truly think Huerta was “pursuing” a single leg takedown, then you my friend need to stop watching MMA and pick up watching Bowling because Huerta was on all 4’s and looked about as bad as one can look. He was on queeer street multiple times before the kick. It was totally unnecessary.

  • Mario

    Gotta love those soccer kicks/stomps 🙂

  • God

    OneFC is the sh*t!! They know how to put on a show, are working to bring MMA into the lives of several Billion people. The UFC is obviously taking notice. It’s curious how they are suddenly holding an event in China now… OneFC will be huge. A 500 million household ESPN deal? Are you freaking kidding me?!? They will be more viewed than the UFC within months. They are on schedule to have the biggest sporting event in Manila History in August. GO ONE FC!