In late 2018, ONE Championship made three huge acquisitions in Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Sage Northcutt. The moves were expected to help bring North American viewers to the Asian-based promotion.
On the same card, Johnson got a second-round win, while Alvarez was knocked out in the first. And, most recently, Northcutt was knocked out in the first round. For Demetrious Johnson, that was tough to see.
“I did [watch it]… It’s tough,” Johnson said to BJPenn.com. “It’s mixed martial arts. Anything can happen. Cosmo Alexandre, he’s a tough dude, great kickboxer, obviously has a lot of power in his hands.
“Any fighter on any day can lose. You can ask any fighter, that’s just the reality of fighting.”
Ultimately, for Johnson he believes this shows that other organizations beside the UFC had top-level fighters.
“I’ve always thought any promotion in the world is legit,” Johnson said. “It’s just casual fans who think just because you fight in North America you’re the best athlete in the world, and that’s not the case whatsoever. I mean you’ve got guys like Kyoji Horiguchi, who’s cleaning house [in RIZIN]. He’s about to fight for a world title in Bellator.”
“If ONE Championship athletes were to go to North America [promotions] to compete, I’m sure they’d do well,” he added. “Look at guys like Gegard Mousasi. The majority of his career was in Japan. I think it doesn’t matter what organization you fight under. Any athlete can lose on on any given day.”