Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson Book ONE Championship Debuts in March
ONE Championship may have just booked their most ambitious show in history and it includes the promotional debuts for both Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson.
The two former UFC champions recently joined the Asia based promotion and now they have their respective opponents set for ONE: A NEW ERA on March 31 from the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
Alvarez will take on heavy-handed Russian fighter Timofey Nastyuhkin in his ONE Championship debut after previous title reigns in both the UFC and Bellator.
Alvarez was a high valued free agent following his last fight in the UFC against Dustin Poirier but ultimately he opted to sign with ONE Championship for his new fighting home.
Nastyuhkin has gone 3-3 over his past six fights but he’s well known for his vicious knockout power including a devastating finish over current ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang in 2014.
Meanwhile, Johnson will make his debut after he was part of the historic trade that sent him to ONE Championship in exchange for Ben Askren, who is now fighting in the UFC and will debut on March 2.
Johnson will take on top flyweight prospect Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu, who comes into the fight with a loss in his lone bout in ONE Championship while sporting a 10-3 recod overall.
Those two fights may be the most high profile for the U.S. audience but the entire card is stacked including three title fights highlighting the show.
ONE women’s strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan will take on women’s atomweight champion Angela Lee in the featured bout on the card. Lee was originally expected to take on Xiong in November but an injury prevented her from competing.
Now she will get the chance to become a two division champion while facing a well known striker in Xiong.
Reigning light heavyweight and middleweight champion Aung La N Sang will take on Ken Hasegawa in a rematch after they met in one of the best fights of the year from 2018. Aung La N Sang eventually earned a hard fought fifth round knockout but Hasegawa will look for revenge when they clash again for the middleweight title in March.
Finally, lightweight champion Eduard Folayang will take on Shinya Aoki in a rematch after they first met in 2016. On that night, Folayang captured the title with a third round knockout against Aoki.
Now Aoki will look to even the score and take back the title when he faces Folayang in Japan in March.
The card will serve as ONE Championship’s debut in Japan. The card is expected to air on Bleacher Report Live in the United States with a condensed replay expected to air on TNT.