The reported “trade” between UFC and ONE Championship will be pushing through. According to ESPN, both organizations, along with Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren’s management teams, have agreed to the parameters of a switch between the two fighters.
Both Johnson and Askren have been released from their UFC and ONE contracts respectively, and will be signing new deals with their new promoters shortly after.
According to Ariel Helwani, there were also stipulations that both fighters will not be able to sign with any other promotion following their individual releases, as it was only a function of switching organizations for both.
This deal is really a trade, btw. Both DJ & Askren are expected to get new contracts but for now they are ONE and UFC fighters, respectively. They aren’t free agents who can just sign w/ anyone. It’s as close to a trade as we’ll ever see in MMA. Very complicated but it got done.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 27, 2018
Since reports of the switch broke out earlier in the week, Askren has been calling out just about everyone close to his weight (except McGregor) in the UFC. As for Johnson, the former UFC flyweight champion just took to social media after news broke that the finer details of “trade” was agreed on.
Askren, 34, hasn’t fought since beating Japanese lightweight star Shinya Aoki in what was supposedly his retirement bout in 2017. Johnson, on the other hand, was on the short end of a close split decision against Henry Cejudo that lost him his UFC belt last August.