UFC and ONE Championship Finalize Major Trade
Friday, October 26, 2018
There was massive news in the world of MMA this week when it was reported that UFC and ONE Championship were in the process of finalizing the first trade in MMA that would send former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson to ONE in exchange for ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren.
This would be the first time two MMA promotions trade their top fighters and could potentially provide interesting matchups for both. Although ‘Mighty Mouse’ lost his UFC flyweight championship to Henry Cejudo, he is still considered by many as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and one of the greatest fighters of all-time. Rightfully so, he’ll likely receive an immediate title shot in his first fight for ONE Championship.
With Mighty Mouse now a member of ONE Championship and current UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo likely challenging TJ Dillashaw for the UFC bantamweight championship, this could potentially signal the end of the UFC’s flyweight division. There has been talk of a 165lb division, which could be a great addition should the promotion choose to do away with their flyweight division.
In terms of Ben Askren, the two-time NCAA wrestling champion is undefeated in his MMA career (18-0- 1 NC). Askren has won the welterweight championship in both ONE Championship and Bellator, where he had notable wins over former champions Andrey Koreshkov and Douglas Lima.
It’ll be interesting to see who Askren fights in his UFC debut as he didn’t waste any time calling out some of the promotion’s biggest names including: Darren Till, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Georges St.Pierre, and current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
This trade between the UFC and ONE Championship opens up many possibilities that had never materialized before. I think if the UFC and Bellator were to negotiate something similar, it would provide fans with many intriguing fights for example, Michael Chandler taking on a top lightweight in the UFC or Tyron Woodley vs Rory MacDonald II in Bellator.
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