Former UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson was recently traded to One Championship, with One Welterweight Champion Ben Askren going to the UFC in return.
The former flyweight kingpin is going to make a big change when he competes in One, which is a move up a weight class to bantamweight.
"At the end of the day, I felt that I'm pretty young in my career and I wanted to try something different," Johnson told MMA Weekly. "I've always wanted to travel a lot and compete and I actually grew up watching Asian mixed martial arts with PRIDE mostly and to be able to have the opportunity to travel over to Asia to compete a totally different weight class, it was something I couldn't pass up. Working with First Round Management and Malki [Kawa] after my last fight, I was like 'you know what you think this is something that could be possible?' and he said 'anything's possible' and so Malki was able to get it done. Here we are now and I'm glad everything fell into the right place. Now I'm a ONE athlete and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens."
Johnson was not only the first flyweight champion in UFC history, but holds the record for the most consecutive title defenses in the promotion.
Although there main have been some issues with the UFC in the past, a happy Johnson says he is exiting the promotion on good terms.
“I leave the UFC with no regrets, on good terms,” Johnson said. “I believe I accomplished everything I could there. I defended the belt 11 times. I won every single way you can possibly think of — knockout, submission that nobody has ever seen before — I’ve done everything I can over there.”
There is no word when Johnson is expected to make his One Championship debut or whom that fight would come against.