Earlier this month, we learned that former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez had signed with Singapore-based MMA promotion ONE Championship. Alvarez was instantly hailed as the biggest free agent signing in ONE Championship history — and from the sounds of it, he could soon be joined by another massive name: former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN reported that the UFC and ONE Championship were close to finalizing an unprecedented fighter trade. This trade would see the UFC send Johnson, widely regarded as the best fighter of all time, to ONE Championship, and ONE Championship offer up its former welterweight champion in return.
One of the first members of the MMA community to react to news of Demetrious Johnson’s potential move to ONE Championship was the promotion’s other new signee, Eddie Alvarez.
“This is getting fun,” Eddie Alvarez said of ONE Championship potentially signing Demetrious Johnson (edited for clarity). “A lot of history being made. [Demetrious Johnson in my opinion] is, and will be for a long time, the best to do it.”
Demetrious Johnson (27-3-1) last fought in August, when his longstanding reign as UFC flyweight champion and the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter came to a close after a split decision loss to Henry Cejudo.
The former UFC champion holds victories over names like Joseph Benavidez, Kyoji Horiguchi, Ian McCall, John Dodson, Ray Borg, John Moraga, Wilson Reis, and the aforementioned Cejudo. It is not known at this time what Johnson’s potential departure could mean for the long-struggling UFC flyweight division. That being said, it’s possible his departure could be the harbinger for the division’s demise.
What do you think of this potential Demetrious Johnson – Ben Askren trade? Do you think we’ll be seeing the former join Eddie Alvarez in ONE Championship?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/24/2018.