On Sunday night in Tokyo, Japan (early Sunday morning in North America), former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson made his anticipated debut in the ONE Championship cage at ONE: A New Era. The flyweight legend’s welcoming committee was Japanese knockout artist Yuya Wakamatsu.
Both fighters entered the ONE Championship cage with losses in the rear-view mirror. Demetrious Johnson last competed in August, when he surrendered the UFC flyweight title to Henry Cejudo in a bout that would go down as his last in the Octagon. Yuya Wakamatsu, meanwhile, recently came up short in his ONE Championship debut, giving up a decision to the streaking Danny Kingad.
Moments after Eddie Alvarez lost his ONE Championship debut, we saw Demetrious Johnson struggle in his promotional debut, as he arguably lost the first round to his young Japanese foe, and absorbed some massive punches early in the second round round.
As the bout wore on, however, the former UFC champion began to lean more heavily on his world class grappling. He grounded the fight, advanced position, and as Wakamatsu attempted to to return to his feet, locked up a guillotine choke for a second round victory. The official time of the stoppage was 2:40.
Demetrious Johnson is now 1-0 in ONE Championship. Yuya Wakamatsu, meanwhile, falls to 0-2 in the ONE cage — but in taking the fight to “Mighty Mouse” proved he is a tough out for any flyweight in the world.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/31/2019.