UFC releases Demetrious Johnson; ONE Championship releases Ben Askren

Demetrious Johnson Ben Askren'trade proceeds ONE Championship welcomes'Mighty Mouse

Demetrious Johnson Ben Askren'trade proceeds ONE Championship welcomes'Mighty Mouse

ESPN.com today reported the UFC has finalized terms to release former longtime flyweight champion Johnson (27-3-1 MMA, 15-2-1 UFC) from the company.

The historic trade that will send Demetrious Johnson to One Championship and Ben Askren to the UFC is essentially is essentially a done deal, according to a report from ESPN.

Helwani also said, both fighters soon will get a new contract with their new employers UFC and ONE, but aren't free agents to sign with any other organization. It marks the first major trade in the history of MMA, with "Mighty Mouse" heading to the top Asian mixed martial arts promotion and Askren finally getting his crack in the big leagues. Johnson was the UFC's inaugural flyweight champion and broke Anderson Silva's record for consecutive title defenses previous year.

Johnson reigned as the UFC's only 125-pound champ from the inception of the division in September 2012 until last August, when Mighty Mouse lost a split decision to Henry Cejudo. Sources said that's when Johnson's representatives at First Round Management came up with the idea to pitch sending Askren over to UFC, pending his consent.

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Matt Hume, Johnson's coach at AMC Pankration in Kirkland, Washington, also serves as ONE's vice president of operations.

Meanwhile, Askren boasts an unbeaten record of 18-0 with one no-contest.

Askren, a former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion, has been calling out just about everybody in the upper echelon of the UFC ranks from Khabib Nurmagomedov to Colby Covington and anyone else in between. The Roufusport product retired following a 57-second stoppage of Shinya Aoki this past November but left the door open to return if a superfight against the likes of Georges St. Pierre became an option.

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