ONE Championship announces Demetrious Johnson return, 3 title bouts

    ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong on Wednesday announced the dates for two upcoming events that will feature the return of former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson, as well as three title fights.

    Sityodtong delivered the news during an appearance on โ€œThe MMA Hour.โ€

    On Feb. 11 at ONE Championship: Bad Blood, bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will defend his title against former UFC standout John Lineker.

    On March 26 at ONE X, the promotionโ€™s 10th anniversary event, Johnson will take on Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a previously announced special rules bout. Also on the card, two title fights will take place, with Angela Lee defending her atomweight title against Stamp Fairtex, while flyweight champ Adriano Moraes takes on Yuya Wakamatsu.

    Fernandes vs. Lineker and Johnson vs. Rodtang originally had been slated to happen last December at ONE X, which was postponed because of COVID-19.

    Both ONE: Bad Blood and ONE X are expected to take place at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

    Below is a closer look on each fight.

    Fernandes, 41, hasnโ€™t competed since October 2019 when he defended the title with a rear-naked choke submission of Kevin Belingon in a trilogy bout. Fernandes (24-4) was on a 14-fight overall winning streak, which included seven title defenses, when he lost the belt to Belingon by split decision in November 2018. But Fernandes won back the gold in March 2019 after Belingon was disqualified for using illegal elbows.

    Lineker, 31, is off to a 3-0 start in ONE since being released by the UFC in 2019. Lineker (34-9) most recently knocked out Troy Worthen in the first round last April at ONE on TNT III.

    The special rules bout between Johnson, 35, and muay Thai champion Rodtang, 24, originally was announced last September. The contest is set for four, three-minute rounds alternating between muay Thai and MMA rules. The fight will start under muay Thai rules and will switch with MMA for the following rounds.

    Johnson, the most dominant champion in UFC flyweight history, returns to action after suffering his first defeat since leaving the UFC in 2018. Johnson was stopped by Adriano Moraes in the second-round of their championship fight. The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak that marked the start of his ONE Championship career.

    Rodtang is the ONE Championship flyweight muay Thai champ. Heโ€™s considered by many to be one of the best pound-for-pound muay Thai fighters today. Jitmuangnon never has competed under MMA rules. He last fought in April, outpointing Danial Williams at ONE on TNT 1.

    Lee, 25, will return to action for the first time since giving birth to her first child. The last time Lee (10-2) fought was in October 2019 when she defended her atomweight title by fifth-round submission over Xiong Jing Nan.

    Fairtex (8-1), 24, earned her title shot by winning last yearโ€™s atomweight grand prix. She won three fights, including the Dec. 3 final against Ritu Phogat by second-round armbar submission.

    Moraes (19-3), 32, is coming off of last Aprilโ€™s stunning upset of Johnson, which he won by second-round TKO to retain the flyweight title. It was the first time Johnson was finished in his illustrious career.

    Wakamatsu (15-4), 26, will enter on a five-fight winning streak, which includes three decisions and two finishes.

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