The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and ONE Championship may be on the verge of a historic trade.
MMA Junkie Radio first brought word of a potential trade involving the UFC and ONE Championship. Sources then told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that there are indeed talks of a trade that would see Demetrious Johnson go to ONE Championship and Ben Askren head over to the UFC. The deal has not been finalized, but it’s said to be close.
How it would work is that both men would be released from their contracts to sign with the other promotion. ESPN noted that their sources claimed Johnson and Askren have multiple fights left on their current deals. A trade of this magnitude is the first of its kind in mixed martial arts.
“Mighty Mouse” is the longest reigning champion in UFC history, but he was never a draw despite his accomplishments. Johnson recently dropped his UFC flyweight title via split decision to Henry Cejudo. Rumors have been swirling that the UFC plans to do away with the men’s 125-pound division and have Cejudo vs. T.J. Dillashaw in a unification bout. Those plans and that match-up have not been confirmed.
As for Askren, he was the ONE Championship welterweight title holder before deciding to retire. Many believe Askren is the best fighter not signed by the UFC. With a record of 18-0, 1 NC and his Olympic wrestling background, some go as far as to say Askren is the best welterweight in MMA. His training partner and close friend Tyron Woodley happens to be the UFC welterweight champion.
Who do you think will benefit the most from this trade?