The UFC and fellow mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, ONE Championship, are nearing a groundbreaking trade. ESPN is reporting that the UFC will release former flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, allowing him to sign with ONE Championship, while ONE will do the same with former welterweight titleholder Ben Askren.
This would be the first major trade agreement between two top-tier MMA promotions in the sport’s history. Johnson is the former 125-pound champion of the UFC, and the longest reigning champion in the promotion’s history. However, Johnson and the flyweight division never were really much of a draw.
Despite this, Johnson is regarded as one of the pound-for-pound greatest fighters the sport has ever seen. He recently suffered his first loss at 125 pounds, and his first overall defeat in nearly seven years, this past summer. He was defeated by Henry Cejudo via split decision.
As for Askren, he is one of the greatest 170-pound competitors to have never competed in the UFC. Dream match-ups between Askren and the likes of Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov are now more possible than ever. The trade agreement has yet to be made official as of this writing, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more…