The UFC and ONE Championship could be on the verge of making mixed martial arts (MMA) history.
Earlier today (Wed. October 24, 2018) it was reported that the two promotions are discussing the first major blockbuster ‘trade’ within the sport. The UFC is willing to release Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson from his contract, and allow him to sign with ONE Championship. In turn, ONE would release Ben Askren in order for him to sign with the UFC.
This would be a major move for both parties, who would each be benefiting greatly from the deal. Bellator MMA President Scott Coker recently took to Twitter to react to the reports. Here’s what he had to say:
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) October 24, 2018
Johnson was recently defeated for the first time in his MMA career at 125 pounds. He dropped the UFC flyweight title to Henry Cejudo via split decision this past summer. Johnson was never really much of a draw as champion, and the same can be said about the flyweight division as a whole. Potentially trading away Johnson could mark the end of the UFC’s 125-pound division.
As for Askren, he hasn’t fought since November of last year, successfully defending the ONE welterweight title via first-round TKO. After the fight, Askren planned on retiring from MMA competition. However, these recent developments indicate Askren wants a few superfights before he walks away from fighting once and for all.