Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is now a ONE Championship fighter. That’s thanks to a historic and unprecedented trade between ONE and the UFC, which saw Johnson shipped to the Singapore-based promotion, and former ONE welterweight champ Ben Askren sent stateside to the UFC.
Ever since news of this trade was announced, Ben Askren has engaged in verbal warfare with many of the UFC’s top welterweights. And while ONE Championship encourages its fighters to steer clear of this kind of trash talking, one ONE Championship star has done his part to lock down a fight with the former UFC champ Demetrious Johnson: former ONE flyweight champ Kairat Akhmetov.
Kazakhstan’s Akhmetov, who currently owns an impressive record of 25-2 overall, campaigned for a fight with Demetrious Johnson on Instagram earlier this week.
Interestingly, Akhmetov also mentioned that ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong first told him about this trade all the way back in January — before Johnson’s reign as UFC champ even came to an end.
“Today there was news that the former UFC champion and one of the best fighters in the history of MMA Demetrious Johnson may move into the ONE Championship,” Kairat Akhmetov wrote in his post. “ONE President [Chatri Sityodtong] told me about this plan back in January. This transition will mean that the UFC will eliminate the lightest weight category. I would like to be the first ONE fighter to greet the mighty little mouse in my organization. It will be my honor to divide the cage and measure strength with such a great champion. I ask the ONE Championship to organize this fight.”
Kairat Akhmetov, who does much of his training at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque, last fought in September, when he dominated China’s Ma Hao Bin to a unanimous decision. Prior to this win, Akhmetov engaged in a pair of close fights with Geje Eustaquio, who now owns the ONE flyweight belt. These fights were preceded by a loss to Brazil’s Adriano Moraes, which marked the end of his reign as ONE flyweight champ.
Do you think we’ll see Kairat Akhmetov welcome Demetrious Johnson to the ONE cage?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/26/2018.