ONE Championship’s biggest all-time acquisitions in former UFC champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez now know when their promotional debuts will take place.
Interestingly enough, they won’t be coming in your basic format but instead, tournament style as ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced via Instagram.
Each of Johnson’s and Alvarez’ divisions will get a featured 8-man Grand Prix that they will compete in for the opportunity to become ONE champions. The tournaments will take place sometime next year and fighters will only have one fight per night. The brackets and matchups have yet to be revealed.
Some of the notable names at lightweight that will be in the tournament include Amir Khan, Timofey Nastyukhin, Ariel Sexton, former champion Eduard Folayang and lightweight MMA legend Shinya Aoki. Flyweights include the likes of Kairat Akhmetov, Adriano Moraes, Danny Kingad and current champion Geje Eustaquio.
Alvarez’ last fight came in July when he rematched Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC on Fox 30. Unfortunately, Poirier would end up getting the best of Alvarez the second time around as Poirier would get the second-round TKO to give Alvarez the third and final loss of his UFC career (4-3, 1 NC).
Johnson’s last fight also was a rematch that took place in August against Henry Cejudo at UFC 227. Johnson also would, unfortunately, succumb to his opponent as Cejudo walked away with the split decision victory that would be Johnson’s first loss in seven years and his first at flyweight and second inside the UFC overall (15-2-1).
ONE’s main philosophy is to make their promotion the truest promotion to the art of martial arts. Installing some tournament formats is just another way to do that and a big reason why fighters like Johnson and Alvarez have happily made the moves overseas.
Will you be tuning into the ONE flyweight and lightweight title tournaments?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/7/2018