Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez make ONE Championship debuts March 31 in Japan (1 Viewer)


Your tears don't fall...
I think the Japanese market differently (arguably better? would have to look at actual numbers, data, etc.). Them not being in the posters may not necessarily equate to them not being marketed or making big money in either sponsorships, or pay, or international exposure, etc. - Doesn't make crazy sense to keep them off the poster to us here stateside, but maybe it does over there? Maybe they're getting their own poster or maybe they're being marketed ten fold in other ways?

No clue, but just my two dimes.
[DOUBLEPOST=1545540777,1545540716][/DOUBLEPOST]Side note: would love to cop that DJ/Eddie-less poster, regardless - god damn the Japanese know how to make a poster.
It is a beautiful poster but how can you have Eddie and Mighty Mouse on the poster but not actually on the poster?


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I think the Japanese market differently (arguably better? would have to look at actual numbers, data, etc.). Them not being in the posters may not necessarily equate to them not being marketed or making big money in either sponsorships, or pay, or international exposure, etc. - Doesn't make crazy sense to keep them off the poster to us here stateside, but maybe it does over there? Maybe they're getting their own poster or maybe they're being marketed ten fold in other ways?

No clue, but just my two dimes.
[DOUBLEPOST=1545540777,1545540716][/DOUBLEPOST]Side note: would love to cop that DJ/Eddie-less poster, regardless - god damn the Japanese know how to make a poster.


Putting the stamp on kids
Staff member
Meet Yuya Wakamatsu: the knockout artist tasked with welcoming Demetrious Johnson to ONE
Yuya Wakamatsu couldn’t believe what he was hearing when he was offered the opportunity to welcome Demetrious Johnson, the former UFC flyweight champion and one of the best fighters ever, to the ONE Championship cage.

Wakamatsu has competed just once for ONE Championship so far and came up short in his debut effort, losing a decision to Danny Kingad. As such, he didn’t expect to receive this kind of offer so soon. Nonetheless, this was an opportunity he’d been dreaming of for years, and one he simply couldn’t turn down.

The Kagoshima, Japan native is now set to collide with Johnson at ONE: A New Era on March 31 in Tokyo.

“I’ve always believed that ONE is the best promotion in the world, and then Demetrious Johnson joined the roster, and in my mind, I have always thought that it would be an honor and great opportunity to fight him,” Wakamatsu told, explaining what went through his head when the bout was first offered. “I didn’t know ONE would offer me a fight like this so soon due to my previous loss. When I heard that they offered me the fight, I was really shocked, but very honored at the same time.

“I really thought deeply about it and I was nervous,” he added. “But I wanted to fight soon and I knew a chance like this might never come again.

“I did not expect it, but I dreamed it.”

Once he’d accepted the bout offer, the fighter they call “Little Piranha” — named after his trainer and manager, Japanese MMA legend Ryo Chonan — jumped into his preparations for the task a hand. He’s had big fights before, most notably his 2018 Pancrase title fight with Senzo Ikeda and his ONE Championship debut opposite Kingad, but he’s never fought an opponent like Johnson.

He hasn’t quite figured out best to approach this challenge yet, but plans to lean heavily on his ridiculous firepower — the same firepower that has helped him score finishes in nine of his 10 pro victories.

Of cousse, against a fighter like Demetrious Johnson, Yuya Wakamatsu understands that he must be flawless. He’s watched many of the former UFC champion’s fights, and knows how dangerous he is.

“I watched his fights even before I started MMA,” he said of his upcoming opponent. “I’m aware of how good he is and will be very careful with his submission skills and techniques.”

In the lead-up to this massive challenge, there is one fight that Wakamatsu will be studying extensively, the fight that ended Johnson’s title reign: an August split decision loss to Henry Cejudo. The Japanese fighter says this fight proved to him that, despite previous perceptions, Johnson can in fact be beaten. He is not invincible.

“I saw that fight and I learned that Demetrious Johnson is not unbeatable,” he said. “He is only a human being.”

Given Johnson’s previous accolades, some fans have speculated that he might end up taking Wakamatsu lightly. Yet Wakamatsu highly doubts this will be the case.

“Demetrious Johnson will not underestimate me,” he said. “He will come with full effort.”

If Wakamatsu is able to do the unthinkable and defeat Johnson in Tokyo, he’ll advance to the second round of the ONE Championship Flyweight Grand Prix and take a giant step in the direction of his ultimate goal: proving that he’s the best in the world.

“It would change my life [to win],” he said. “Winning means that I am genuinely the world’s strongest and best.”

However the fight goes down, Wakamatsu wants the world to know that he should not be counted out.

“I am a world-class athlete and I want my fans to pay attention to my aggression in the cage, to my power and speed,” he said. “I will do my best.”

Wakamatsu looks at this fight with Johnson the opportunity of a lifetime, and he does not intend to waste it.

“It feels like I have won the lottery,” he said. “During my teenage years, I was on a bad road, but once I started MMA, it changed my life. This is my biggest opportunity and I absolutely want you to see a story in which I win.”


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Wasn't he also Dream or Strikeforce champion?
UFC Lightweight Champion
Bellator Lightweight Champion x2

He then was in the DREAM Lightweight finals and dropped out due to an eye injury, and lost a title fight to Aoki for the WAMMA Lightweight title. He also has 2 regional Welterweight titles on his resume.
[DOUBLEPOST=1547048651][/DOUBLEPOST]Meet Timofey Nastyukhin: the man who will welcome Eddie Alvarez to ONE Championship

Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin (12-4, 6 KOS, 4 Subs) has been competing in combat sports for a long time.

He began training in Pankration when he was just a child, and wound up winning a European championship in the sport at a young age. Buoyed by his success in Pankration, he then transitioned into MMA at 18 years old, and after a seven-fight win streak — all stoppages — he was invited to ONE Championship, where he debuted with a jaw-dropping, flying knee knockout of current lightweight champion Eduard Folayang.

At ONE: A New Era on March 31 in Tokyo, Japan, however, Timofey Nastyukhin will face a challenge the likes of which he hasn’t seen in all his years of competition. He’s been tasked with welcoming former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to ONE Championship. The pair will collide in the first round of the promotion’s anticipated Lightweight Grand Prix.

Given his status as one of ONE Championship’s premier lightweights, Nastyukhin suspected he might be picked as Alvarez’s debut opponent, and when the call came, he leapt at the chance.

“I knew that when Eddie signed with ONE Championship, we would compete together in the Grand Prix, so I was not surprised with it,” he told of the matchup. “I love big challenges and this is a fight that could not be rejected. I’m happy to share cage with him.”

Having accepted this colossal collision with Eddie Alvarez, Timofey Nastyukhin is now dedicating himself to the task at hand, interspersing his duties as a father and husband with long hours at the gym.

“I am in my city starting training now,” he said. “We have studied him and know now what he will do in the fight, so I am training for him now.”

“I watched many of his fights, especially the recent ones, and I know what to do in this fight.”

Eddie Alvarez has a reputation as one of the world’s most aggressive and ferocious fighters. In Nastyukhin, however, he might well have met his equal in these departments.

The Russian believes he can match the former UFC and Bellator champion in terms of striking, aggression and endurance, but admits he’ll need to be wary of his foe’s wrestling.

“He has good wrestling, he is tough, experienced and strong,” Nastyukhin said of Alvarez. “I can offer him striking exchanges, aggression, and my endurance is really good. I am also becoming more well-rounded fighter, working on all areas, so it is not going to be easy fight for Eddie.”

While Timofey Nastyukhin assures he is a dangerous test for Eddie Alvarez, he understands that he’s far from the biggest name the former champion has fought.

Alvarez has spent the last few years battling stars like Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje,Conor McGregor, Rafael dos Anjos, and Anthony Pettis, and given the strength of his recent opposition, some fans have wondered if he might end up taking his foes in ONE Championship lightly.

Nastyukhin hopes this is the case.

“For sure, my profile is not the best among Eddie’s recent opponents,” he admitted. “If he underestimates me, it is good for me.”

Given Timofey Nastyukhin and Eddie Alvarez’s shared predilection for unforgettable fights, many fight fans believe their upcoming bout could go down as an instant classic.

Nastyukhin promises it will.

“I am really excited about this fight,” he said. “It will be brawl, a really spectacular fight. I never give up or back down.”

“I have just positive emotions and thoughts,” he continued. “The hard work has begun now, and now I need to reach my peak physically and psychologically. I promise my fans this will be a spectacular and aggressive fight. Don’t blink!”


Mr. Cornute

Prince of Saiyan...stuff.
Wait isn’t that the job they just gave Miesha

Indeed it is.

ONE Championship is racking up big-name fighters from the United States.

The latest? Miesha Tate.

The women’s MMA legend will join ONE as a vice president and relocate to the promotion’s home country of Singapore, ONE announced early Thursday morning. Tate will join the notable recent fighter additions of Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez to the ONE Championship roster.

“I am thrilled to join ONE Championship as a vice president,” Tate said in a statement in the ONE press release.

Is this One's equivalent of giving Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell jobs back in the day?


Putting the stamp on kids
Staff member
Ex-UFC champ Eddie Alvarez rips interim titles, calls Tony Ferguson's situation 'the saddest story'
Eddie Alvarez believes fighters, media and fans need to “wake up” when it comes to the use of interim titles in MMA.

Alvarez, a ONE Championship fighter, believes promoters – and in particular the UFC – are using interim titles as a means to not pay athletes. The former UFC and Bellator titleholder said everything he’s learnt from his time in the sport proves this to be true.

“From what I know, every situation I’ve been in, it’s a substitution to not to pay more,” Alvarez told reporters, including MMAjunkie, at Thursday’s ONE Championship media event in Las Vegas. “If I know a guy has an ego, he’s a little insecure and I don’t want to pay him, I said, ‘Hey, what do you think about a world title, buddy?’ And a young kid who don’t know anything goes, ‘Oh my god, I could be UFC champion.’ … And they their mind gets clouded and they don’t care about money anymore. They don’t even think about money. We all need to wake up.”

The use of interim titles in the UFC has undeniably gone up in recent years. It’s a particularly popular topic right now, because for the first time, two interim title fights will take place on one card at UFC 236 in April.

One of those bouts features UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier in an interim lightweight title match. Before that booking was made, though, former interim champ Tony Ferguson was offered the spot.

Ferguson is perhaps the most glaring example of an interim title situation going bad, and Alvarez said he’s glad to see him give in to the UFC.

“Tony Ferguson, could you imagine? That’s the saddest story,” Alvarez said. “You got the interim belt, ‘Hey, you want another interim shot?’ After you kidding me? Are you guys kidding me? No one is talking about this. Two interim shots without a real title? It’s an absolute joke. It’s gone too far and something needs to be said. And I’m glad for Tony. He flipped them the bird and said, ‘Not happening, I want the real belt.’ And he deserves it. He deserves this shot. It’s good that fighters are speaking up now and saying things.”
[DOUBLEPOST=1551494301,1551453727][/DOUBLEPOST]Dana White responds to Eddie Alvarez’s ‘sick joke’ interim title comments
Former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez made headlines earlier this week when, at a ONE Championship open workout, he ripped into the UFC’s habit of crowning interim champion at a more frequent pace than most fight promotions.

Alvarez called the belts a ‘sick joke’ and claimed the company uses the belts as a way to avoid giving fighters raises.

These comments come as the UFC gets ready to present a pay-per-view card featuring a pair of interim title matchups: UFC 236 on April 13 in Atlanta, which will be headlined by an interim lightweight championship fight between featherweight champion Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier, and co-featured by an interim middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum.

At a press conference promoting UFC 236 on Friday in Las Vegas which featured all four interim title bout participants, UFC president Dana White had an answer for Alvarez without even being asked about him.

“Everybody who is up here today, whoever wins that belt, they move into the title fight, White said. “And I saw some talk the other day from Eddie Alvarez. I like Eddie, I have a great relationship with Eddie, but he was talking about how, you give interim titles so you don’t have to pay the guys so much or some weird comment like that.”

White sees this as a cut-and-dried issue: If you’re an interim champion you get pay-per-view points, whereas if a fighter went into a title fight as a challenger, they don’t get a cut of the PPV revenue. So to White, Alvarez’s idea an interim champ makes less money doesn’t add up.

“When you win the interim title belt, you’re looked at as the titleholder,” White said. “So when you go into a title fight, both guys share in the pay-per-view revenue. If you’re a contender without the interim title, you don’t. So, there’s nothing bad about holding an interim belt going into a title fight.”

Still, this leaves us with a pair of interim title matches at UFC 236 which features at least one instance of a fighter who had vocally proclaimed he wouldn’t accept an interim title fight, just a matchup for the full championship.

And yet, Adesanya, who indicated he’d fight Gastelum, but only for the real belt, said when the opportunity came knocking, he wasn’t about to say no.

“I think people are taking notes now,” Adesanya said. “People are taking notes from last year. I fought February. I got my debut February last year, to February this year, that’s five fights in one year, and, Dana even said, if you want to stay relevant, stay active. ... People are taking notes now. Jon Jones said he wants to maybe fight four times this year. He’s the champ. People were fighting like twice. I think Robert Whittaker fought once in the last year, so yeah, I’m keeping that same energy, I’m going to stay active.”

Holloway, meanwhile, is in an unusual circumstance, as a reigning champion going after an interim belt. The champ said he didn’t mind taking the fight if that’s the route to getting a bout with lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is currently out due to suspension.

“Khabib said he wanted to fight me, but he wanted me to prove myself,” said Holloway, whose fight with Poirier gets top billing due to Holloway’s champion status. “I got Dustin, and, April 13, I decided to prove myself. I’m going to go out there and prove myself and when Khabib comes back I’ll be ready.”

All this leaves Tony Ferguson — a former UFC interim lightweight champion on an 11-fight win streak — on the outside looking in, as he reportedly turned down bouts with Poirier and Holloway.

“I don’t know,” White said. “I said all the time when there’s an opportunity, take it. Everyone sitting up here today is proof of that. You take the opportunities and you get the shot. You know? I don’t know where this leaves Tony. Tony doesn’t want the fight.”

As for Alvarez’s comments on interim belts, Poirier, who finished Alvarez in the final bout of Alvarez’s UFC contract last summer, has his own theory.

“Eddie hasn’t been right since I hit him with that last left hand either,” Poirier quipped. “So, give him a break.”

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