The unimaginable has occurred. A trade between MMA organizations has gone down. The UFC has released former champion Demetrious Johnson from his contact to allow him to sign with ONE Championship, while in return ONE has released former champion Ben Askren to allow him to join the UFC.
Before his loss to Henry Cejudo this past August, Mighty Mouse was the UFC’s only flyweight champion, holding the strap for six years. DJ’s coach, Matt Hume, is a vice president with ONE, and Johnson has mentioned in the past at wanting to win titles in other organizations, so this move makes sense for him.
Funky Ben, meanwhile, has gone a sparkling 18-0 (1 NC) in his MMA career, mowing down the competition and capturing welterweight titles in Bellator and ONE. The former Olympian wrestler has had a contentious relationship with UFC boss Dana White, which probably prevented him from joining the UFC sooner.
Fights for either fighter in their new homes have yet to be announced yet.