Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson To Make ONE Championship Debuts At Stacked Tokyo Show, Opponents Announced

Eddie Alvarez, UFC Calgary ceremonial weigh-ins
Eddie Alvarez Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez will join Angela Lee and Aung La N Sang at ONE Championship: A New Era next March in Tokyo.

Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson officially have their ONE Championship debut dates. More importantly, they have their opponents. And it will all go down as part of an absolutely stacked card in Tokyo, Japan this March. ONE officials gave details to the Associated Press on Wednesday, and it appears Japanese MMA fans are in for a treat. ONE Championship: A New Era will feature not only the former UFC standouts, but Aung La N Sang and Angela Lee as well.

First up, former UFC flyweight champ and pound-for-pound great Johnson, a.k.a. ‘Mighty Mouse,’ will step into the ONE Championship cage for the first time against Japan’s Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu. Johnson (27–3–1) had won 13 straight and set the UFC record for title defenses at 11 before losing to Henry Cejudo in August. Wakamatsu (10-3) is also coming off a loss, against Danny Kingad under the ONE banner. Prior to that, the Japanese fighter had been competing in Pancrase. He ran up a nine-fight win streak from 2015 to 2017.

Alvarez (29–6 (1)), who most recently lost to Dustin Poirier at UFC Calgary, will make his first ONE Championship appearance against Timofey Nastyukhin. The Russian lightweight is 12-4, and last time out lost to Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev at ONE’s Conquest of Heroes event in September. Prior to that he had won his last two fights, including a notable victory over Amir Khan. Nastyukin has competed for ONE since 2014.

Also on the stacked card, ONE star and atomweight champ Angela Lee will make another attempt at moving up to strawweight to face Xiong Jing Nan. The fight was expected to take place earlier this year, but Lee (9-0) was forced off the card due to injury. China’s Xiong (13-1), a.k.a. ‘The Panda,’ has been impressive thus far in her reign as champion, and should be the undefeated Lee’s toughest test to date.

Another of ONE’s biggest stars, double-champ Aung La N Sang (middleweight and light heavyweight) will face Ken Hasegawa for the second time in Tokyo. Their first bout was an all-out war, and one of the best fights in the promotion in 2018.

Finally, Eduard Folyang will face Shinya Aoki in another rematch as part of A New Era. The event takes place March 31 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo, Japan.