In a Sensational Story, the UFC and ONE are Set to Swap Two of Their Greatest Champions in a Massive Move For MMA…

ESPN has reported that the UFC and ONE are in talks to trade two of the leading former champions. Demetrious┬áJohnson is one of the most successful fighters in the history of the sport. With 11 title defences, the 32-year-old flyweight is one of the greatest – and most underappreciated mixed martial artists of all time.

Meanwhile, Ben Askren is arguably the greatest fighter never to sign for the UFC. The former ONE welterweight champion is basically a curly-haired Georges St. Pierre and is a phenomenal grappler. In 19 matches he’s never been beaten.

If talks are true – and they seem to be – this would be a groundbreaking deal for MMA. Both men have had contentious relationships with the UFC in the past. It’s definitely one of the biggest stories of the year so far.

Ben Askren. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Dominant

Demetrious┬áJohnson appeared to be invincible. With 11 title defences in the UFC’s flyweight division, he was laying waste to all who crossed his past. Then suddenly Henry Cejudo appeared and changed the narrative – although even that rematch was incredibly tight. The UFC definitely underpromoted DJ as a champion.

ONE is known to uphold the values of martial arts and Johnson will absolutely fit into that. They’ve also got a very strong pool of flyweights including champion Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquaio, Kairat Akhmetov and Reece McClaren. They might not be household names in the US, but its definitely one of the Eastern organization’s deepest divisions.

Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Demetrious Johnson (Red Gloves) and Wilson Reis (Blue Gloves) fight during UFC Fight Night at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy USA Today Sports.

Champion

Meanwhile, Askren would be a massive signing for the UFC. The 34-year-old needed just 57 seconds to TKO Shinya Aoki last November and he’s never truly been tested. The likelihood of him facing Georges St. Pierre or competing for the welterweight title in the near future is very high. This is a sensational business.

On Instagram, Conor McGregor bagholder Dillon Danis commented: “Give me Askren.” In reality, he’s lucky that he’s probably never going to have a chance to face the Milwaukee native because ‘Funky’ would tear him limb from limb. Also, Danis might not realize it, but he’s 1-0 against a nobody on the Bellator roster.

August 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Henry Cejudo moves in against Demetrious Johnson during UFC 227 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

Precedent

This is turning into a huge week for ONE. They are absolutely massive in Asia and the UFC has no chance of breaking that market because they just don’t have enough cards out there. Nor do they understand the value system. Chatri Sidyodtong has said if Conor McGregor became available, he wouldn’t sign him because he doesn’t show enough respect as a martial artist.

Who is the biggest winner here? The UFC will be delighted to get Askren on their books. He has an immaculate record and star potential. However, ONE is getting the most dominant flyweight of all time. Johnson was never able to break into the mainstream in the US, but in the Asian market, he could be a superstar.

This makes two former UFC champions to agree on deals to join ONE in the past week. A whole new world is opening. Who would you like to see traded between promotions?

Previous articlePIC: Team Khabib Destroys Conor McGregor (Again) in Brutal Statement
Next articleWhich Fighters Should the UFC Trade Next?