MMA Trade? UFC and ONE looking into swapping Johnson for Askren

October 24, 2018

ESPN reports a potential trade between MMA promotions UFC and ONE.  The deal would have Demetrious Johnson moving to ONE while Ben Askren would head to the UFC.

The trade would have Johnson and Askren released from their respective promotional contracts in order to sign with the other promotion.  Both have fights left on their contract which is the obstacle for Johnson and Askren.

Also, they are independent contractors which means that neither would have to comply with the “trade” since there would be nothing binding each to the deal.  But, it seems as though both fighters are willing to comply.

For the UFC, this could mean that the company is doing away with the 125-pound division.  Before losing the title to Henry Cejudo, Johnson had been dominant as he broke the record for most consecutive title defenses.  Cejudo has been discussing a superfight with bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw.  But, the flyweight division has produced little, if any spark to the promotion since its inception.

Askren has been dominant in ONE’s welterweight division since joining the company in 2014.  He won the ONE Welterweight Championship in just his second fight in the promotion.  He’s had 4 straight title defenses of his championship.

ONE appears to be making moves to become more visible in North America.  Former Bellator and UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez signed with ONE to a lucrative deal.

Two recent articles by John Nash and Paul Gift on the promotion cast doubt on the company’s finances so the Singapore-based promotion will be something to keep eyes on.

Payout Perspective:

The “trade” seems good for both sides.  Johnson, who believes that the UFC has not promoted him correctly, will get a change of scenery and perhaps the marketing push and new opponents that he desires.  Askren will get a chance to test himself against a tough welterweight division.  It’s been clear that Askren has outclassed his opponents and with a UFC roster full of worthy opponents, he should be given some interesting matchups.

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