The details of Demetrious Johnson’s and Eddie Alvarez’s ONE Championship debuts have been revealed. Both men will be making their promotional debuts simultaneous to the company making a debut of its own, as they will both be competing in ONE Championship’s first ever appearance in Tokyo, Japan, set for March 31st.
In addition to Johnson and Alvarez making their debuts, reigning atomweight champion Angela Lee will challenge strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan in a champion vs. champion bout. There will also be two other championship matches, with both lightweight champion Eduard Folayang and middleweight champion Aung La N Sang defending their titles as well, with Folayang defending against Shinya Aoki in a rematch from a 2016 bout that saw Folayang defeat Aoki via third-round TKO, and La N Sang defending against Ken Hasegawa, another rematch, with N Sang being the victor in their first contest this past June.
As for the two former UFC stars, Demetrious Johnson will be taking on Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu (10-3) and Eddie Alvarez will face Timofey Nastyukhin (12-4). Both of the former UFC superstars’ opponents are coming off of losses, with Wakamatsu losing to Danny Kingad in September, and Nastyukhin losing in the first round to Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev via TKO. Both fights will be a part of the flyweight and lightweight grand prix tournaments announced by ONE Championship earlier this year.
Both Johnson and Alvarez are also coming off of losses, however, with Alvarez losing to Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fox 30 and Demetrious Johnson’s record-setting flyweight title reign being ended by Henry Cejudo in a razor-close split decision at UFC 227. Eddie Alvarez also held UFC gold as a former lightweight champion and would later earn the unofficial title of the “King of Violence.” Demetrious Johnson is considered by some to be the greatest mixed martial artist to ever live, and he will be provided an entirely new platform and fan base to showcase his talents in ONE Championship.
What are your thoughts on the ONE Championship matches announced for the promotion’s Japan debut?