ONE Championship is ready to introduce their newly-acquired fighters to their promotion. Both Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Eddie Alvarez are in Singapore at the moment to make their first appearances for ONE. They will be guest fighters at Friday’s (November 9, 2018) ONE: Heart Of The Lion event.
ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong recently revealed that both men will be involved in lightweight and flyweight World Grand Prix tournaments, respectively (via MMA Junkie):
“ONE Championship is a different organization, ONE Championship is for martial artists, by martial artists,” Sityodtong said. “Every fight promotion in the world wants to put on a fight. In ONE Championship, we want to build and unleash real-life superheroes who ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, inspiration, and courage.
“We want real martial artists to stand up. Martial arts is not about fighting and violence. It is about unleashing your greatness in life. This is the real beauty of martial arts.
“I want the entire world to look at our heroes and be inspired through their lives because they bare their souls to the world with every triumph and every failure.”
Johnson & Alvarez React
Debut dates for the two former UFC champions have yet to be announced. Johnson was traded to the Singapore-based promotion by the UFC. It was the first major trade in mixed martial arts (MMA) history. The former UFC 125-pound champion is pleased with the opportunity to take part in a Grand Prix tournament:
“I spent seven years in North America fighting the best in the world,” Johnson said. “I’ve never traveled to Asia to fight the best. I think now is the perfect time to do it.
“Now that they just announced a world grand prix for the flyweight division, it has always been a dream of mine to actually compete in Asia in a World Grand Prix.
“The biggest thing that you can expect from me for coming over here to compete in Asia is that I’ll do my best. I am taking no shortcuts.”
As for Alvarez, who signed with ONE in free agency, he is excited to return to Asia and compete in a Grand Prix tournament. When he was with the DREAM promotion several years ago, Alvarez had the opportunity to compete in a similar tournament, but ultimately was unable to do so:
“It was in Asia where I made a name for myself and started my career,” Alvarez said. “Everything has come full circle for me. I can’t say how excited and grateful I am to be part of the ONE Championship family.
“This is where true martial arts lives. I’ve been away from Asia so long. It’s good to be back. I feel like I found my way again with ONE Championship, I can respect my opponents and I can go in and fight like a man.
“I know my lifelong martial arts journey will be truly appreciated here.”
What do you think about Alvarez and Johnson participating in ONE Championship World Grand Prix tournaments?