ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong reflected on the historic trade that brought his promotion the services of former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson nearly two-and-a-half years later.
Sityodtong spoke with MMAFighting about the trade that saw ONE send former welterweight champion Ben Askren to the UFC in exchange for Johnson back in October 2018. Johnson has gone 3-0 in his time under the ONE banner and will take on ONE flyweight champion Adriano Moraes in the promotion's debut on live North American television on TNT on April 7, while Askren went 1-2 in his brief Octagon run and suffered a viral flying knee knockout defeat to Jorge Masvidal in just five seconds at UFC 239 which eventually led to his retirement from the sport and his venture into boxing to face YouTuber Jake Paul on April 17.
“At the time Ben was retired and he was past his prime,” Sitoyodtong said. “He had a very severe hip injury that was plaguing him. Of course, it would have been nice to see Ben in his prime without an injury to his hip when he entered the UFC. But he was already crippled when he went into the UFC. People didn’t even know. He couldn’t even have a proper training camp when he had his fights in the UFC.”
Demetrious Johnson is ALL BUSINESS inside the Circle! Will he clock out of ONE on TNT I with flyweight gold? -- @MightyMouse @WillHarrisAOAF @tntdrama @BleacherReport @BR_MMA @brlive #ONEonTNT #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/aLbmqiSflV— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 2, 2021