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Dublin: 12°C Monday 19 April 2021

UFC and ONE Championship confirm first major fighter trade in MMA history

‘Mighty Mouse’ and Ben Askren are trading places.

'Mighty Mouse' has joined ONE Championship from the UFC
'Mighty Mouse' has joined ONE Championship from the UFC
Image: Graham Hughes

MMA’S FIRST MAJOR trade is officially a done deal.

Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has been released from his contract by Dana White and joined ONE Championship. Going the other way, former ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren will leave the organisation and sign with the UFC.

ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong confirmed the move on Twitter last night, with ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson announcing his move on his own account.

The idea was first pitched by Johnson’s representatives at First Round Management following ‘Mighty Mouse”s defeat to Henry Cejudo, per ESPN.

Johnson’s coach Matt Hume is ONE’s vice president of operations.

Former Bellator welterweight champ Askren has been ‘retired’ for just under a year, but has remained open to fighting names such as George St Pierre and Rory MacDonald.

Since news of the trade was first reported, the former Bellator star has called out a number of UFC stars on Twitter, including Liverpool’s recently-defeated Darren Till.

Both Johnson and Askren’s respective debuts will be announced by their new employers in due course.

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