The first-ever major trade between two major mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions, is reportedly finalized. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reports the UFC and ONE Championship have agreed to terms to swap Ben Askren and Demetrious Johnson. Initially, it was reported that the UFC had agreed to release Johnson of his contract. This would allow him to sign with ONE Championship.
In return, ONE would release Askren, allowing him to sign with the UFC. The trade is the first of its kind in MMA and is a great deal for both parties involved. Now, Johnson will be one of the bigger stars at ONE Championship, while Askren will get to truly test himself against some of the welterweight division’s elite.
The deal to have Johnson leave the UFC was reportedly put in place by “Mighty Mouse’s” management. Shortly after his defeat to Henry Cejudo, Johnson’s team began working on a way to get him out of the UFC. That’s when the idea of having Aksren join the promotion in return was brought up. Askren is a former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion. Fans would love to see “Funky” fight the likes of Georges St-Pierre or Khabib Nurmagomedov. Now, they might just get that opportunity.
What do you think of the trade between UFC and ONE Championship becoming official?