Reports: ONE Championship, UFC discussing swap between Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren
Santino Honasan on Oct 25, 2018 11:13 AM
Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren appear to be on the verge of swapping promotions.
Two of the biggest mixed martial arts promotions in the world appear to be on the verge of swapping world champions.
Reported first by John Morgan of MMAJunkie.com, it looks like the UFC and ONE Championship are finalizing plans of a 'trade' so to speak, that would send former UFC Flyweight World Champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson over to the Asian MMA powerhouse for former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben "Funky" Askren.
Morgan wrote that the likely scenario would see both fighters released from their respective contracts and be allowed to immediately sign new contracts with their would-be new promoters.
This comes after Askren jumpstarted the rumours with a tweet that said he was "98%" headed to the UFC.
Askren, 34, owns a perfect 18-0 professional record which saw him capture the Bellator Welterweight World Championship and the ONE Welterweight World Championship.
The former Olympic wrestler retired from MMA back in late 2017, but openly said that he would come out of retirement to fight for the title of 'number one welterweight in the world.'
After Askren's time in Bellator expired in 2013, many hoped that he would finally jump to the UFC, as he was considered as one of the best fighters outside of the North American promotion. Askren instead headed to Singapore-based ONE Championship after not seeing eye-to-eye with the UFC.
Johnson on the other hand, has been long considered as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
The 32-year old boasts a 27-3-1 professional MMA record, which a 13-fight winning streak in the UFC and a near-six year run as the promotion's flyweight champion.
Johnson successfully defended the title a record eleven times before dropping it to Henry Cejudo via Split Decision back in August.
"Mighty Mouse" also already has some ties to ONE Championship, as his long-time coach Matt Hume serves as the promotion's Vice President for Operations.
In the UFC, Askren will get the chance to test himself against some of the world's top 170-pounders, which may also open the doors for a long-clamored for superfight with former UFC Welterweight king Georges St-Pierre.
In ONE Championship, Johnson will be able to take his talents to the Asian market and immediately become a force in the smaller weight divisions.
Who would you like to see Askren fight in the UFC first?
How would DJ fare against ONE Championship's talented roster of flyweights and bantamweights?