A trade that would send former 11-time defending UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson (27-3-1) to ONE Championship for ONE Welterweight Champion Ben Askren (18-0) is close to being finalized according to sources. This trade would be the first of its kind in the world of mixed martial arts.
More on the proposed Demetrious Johnson for Ben Askren “trade” in the works from today’s A&TBG show. Full episode up shortly. It was one of my favorites so far. pic.twitter.com/0ewgmtTeqD
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 24, 2018
Johnson recently lost his title to Henry Cejudo at UFC 227 via a very close split decision. Arguably regarded as the top P4P fighter in the sport before the defeat, the man they call “Mighty Mouse” was criticized by UFC President Dana White and much of the UFC fanbase for his inability to sell PPV’s despite his record-breaking title reign.
If Johnson does indeed move from the UFC to ONE, he would have a familiar face in Matt Hume, his head trainer and current ONE Vice President, to show him the proverbial ropes. He would also make significantly more money when you consider that he would no longer get his championship pay in the UFC, an organization that hasn’t shown interest in promoting him over recent years.
Eddie Alvarez recently signed a blockbuster 8-figure long-term contract with ONE according to the former multi-promotion champion, proving that ONE has no issue with giving fighters they see as big stars major paydays.
The UFC has discussed scrapping the flyweight division altogether and with rumors of Johnson being traded and an upcoming title shot for Cejudo at bantamweight against T.J. Dillashaw, this would bring more truth to those talks.
Now you’re all in big big trouble!
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 25, 2018
Askren, who announced his retirement from competition after defeating grappling legend Shinya Aoki via TKO in under a minute last November, has not shied away from talks of coming to the UFC for a potential “legacy” fight against Georges St. Pierre since that time.