The first ever trade between the UFC and ONE Championship is said to be a done deal. The official announcement about American mixed martial artists Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 32, of Kirkland, Washington and Ben “Funky” Askren, 34, of Phoenix, Arizona swapping promotions is expected soon.
Both Askren and Johnson have several fights left on their ONE Championship and UFC contracts, respectively, sources told ESPN. The former confirmed the trade rumor on Twitter.
ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong has yet to officially welcome Johnson. However, the former took to Instagram to give fight fans a hint.
Askren was the second MMA fighter to hold the ONE Welterweight World Champion title. He dethroned former champion Nobutatsu Suzuki on August 29, 2014 but vacated the title on November 24, 2017 when he announced his retirement from MMA.
As the ONE Welterweight World Champion, Askren successfully defended his title thrice, excluding his bout against Luis Santos at “ONE: Valor of Champions” on April 24, 2015, which ended in a No Contest. The three opponents who failed to dethrone Askren were Agilan “Alligator” Thani, 23, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam, 28, of Sweden and Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Shizuoka, Japan.
The most recent bout of Askren took place at “ONE: Immortal Pursuit” on November 24, 2017. He earned his 18th professional MMA win by knocking out Aoki via punches.
Currently, Askren holds a professional MMA record of 18 wins, 0 loss and 1 No Contest. On the other hand, Johnson has 27 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw.
Johnson was the first ever MMA fighter to hold UFC Flyweight Champion title. From 2012 to 2017, he enjoyed an 11-bout winning streak, which was also the most consecutive title defenses in the UFC.
The most recent bout of Johnson took place on August 4, 2018 at “UFC 227.” He was dethroned by Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo, 31, of Phoenix via split decision.
Meanwhile, here is a clip from Askren’s most recent bout: