Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 32, of Kirkland, Washington, United States is now officially signed with ONE Championship. He has been traded with Ben “Funky” Askren, 34, of Phoenix, Arizona, United States, who is now signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
On October 27, 2018, ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong took to Instagram to officially welcome Johnson to the organization. Days prior to the official announcement, the organization’s boss gave fight fans some hints about the trade on social media.
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.
On the other hand, Askren is a former ONE Welterweight World Champion. 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.
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.
Aside from Johnson, two more MMA fighters recently moved to ONE Championship. Fighting out of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, 34, has recently joined the Singapore-based martial arts organization.
Alvarez is the first MMA fighter to holds titles in the UFC and Bellator MMA. He held the Bellator Lightweight Championship twice and the UFC Lightweight Championship once.
Chatri has yet to announce the details on Alvarez’s first ever ONE Championship bout. The latter is said to stay in the lightweight division.
Unlike the promotional transfer of Johnson and Alvarez, that of Daichi Abe, 26, of Tokyo, Japan did not receive much hype. The Japanese fighter won one out of three UFC bouts before joining ONE Championship.
On October 26, 2018, Abe made his ONE Championship debut at at “ONE: Pursuit of Greatness” at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar. Unfortunately, his promotional debut was unsuccessful as he was knocked out by Luis “Sapo” Santos, 38, of Brazil in the first round.