Former UFC champions Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez made their highly anticipated ONE Championship debuts at ONE: A New Era, Sunday at the historic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
Johnson and Alvarez came in with similar expectations, as both were entrants in their respective divisions' Grand Prix tournaments, and they were expected to run through the competition. The results however, were far from the same.
Demetrious Johnson was able to weather an early storm from Japanese striker Yuya Wakamatsu, to score a second-round guillotine choke.
Wakamatsu held his own early in the opening round as he defended takedowns well and gave DJ a taste of his power. In the second round however, Johnson, like used to do during his long reign as the UFC Flyweight Champion, imposed his gameplan and took the fight to the ground to secure the guillotine choke and for the submission.
The stoppage came in at the 2:40 mark of the second round.
Johnson now advances to the semifinals of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
Alvarez's ONE debut wasn't as spectacular.
The former UFC Lightweight Champion was on the wrong end of a knockout victory at the hands of heavy-handed Russian Timofey Nastyukhin.
Nastyukhin hurt Alvarez with a winging right and then overwhelmed the American star to score the TKO win in the 4:05 mark of the first round.
With the win, Nastyukhin advances into the semifinals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix to face Hawaiian grappler Lowen Tynanes, who defeated Honorio Banario back in January.