Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren Trade Close to Being Finalized
In a historic first, it looks as if the UFC and ONE Championship are close to finalizing a trade involving Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren. You read that right, a trade.
Breaking: UFC, ONE Championship close to trade involving Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren. Potential history in the making for MMA — https://t.co/HllP7dY0of
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 24, 2018
Coming off of a loss, which saw Johnson’s 11 fight title defense streaked snapped, it looks as if the UFC is ready to move on from the longest reigning champion in the promotion’s history. Mighty Mouse saw his streak snapped by Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo, via controversial split decision. The fight came after months of trying to book the superfight with bantamweight king, TJ Dillashaw had failed.
Ben Askren is ONE Championship’s welterweight champion who is undefeated at 18-0. Askren often touts his defense and being “the least hit fighter in MMA.” As well as the ONE Championship champion, Askren has held a belt in Bellator as well. Askren’s career has been often discounted for never competing in the UFC despite his dominant wrestling.
Ben Askren has long wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre to see who the is true king at welterweight. With the potential 165 pound division looming, GSP and Askren would be ideal to open a new division. With Askren and welterweight champ, Tyron Woodley, being college wrestling teammates, it’s unlikely the two will fight any time soon.
As for Demetrious Johnson, going over to ONE Championship makes sense. Johnson has had a hard time dealing with UFC officials, including Dana White, demanding more pay. ONE is predominately an Asian market, where flyweights thrive and bring eyes. More eyes means more money for Mighty Mouse. Throw that in with Johnson’s coach, Matt Hume, working as Vice President of Operations at ONE Championship, it was only a matter of time until Johnson jumped ship.
The deal isn’t quite done yet, but you can tune into MMA-Today to stay up to date on all the latest news involving Ben Askren and Demetrious Johnson’s historic trade.