Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez will make their highly-anticipated One Championship debuts in Tokyo on March 31.
The Singapore-based promotion revealed to the Associated Press on Wednesday that Johnson will face Yuya Wakamatsu in a flyweight bout, while Eddie Alvarez will meet Timofey Nastyukhin at lightweight. The matchups are expected to be part of One’s flyweight and lightweight grand prix tournaments.
One Championship’s Japanese debut takes place at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo and will also see atomweight champion Angela Lee move up to challenge 115-pound queen Xiong Jing Nan. Additionally, middleweight champion Aung La N Sang and lightweight king Eduard Folayang will defend their titles against Japanese opponents.
Johnson set a UFC record with 11 consecutive title defenses before relinquishing his belt in a split decision loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC 227 in August. “Mighty Mouse” was then “traded” to One for former welterweight champion Ben Askren.
The 23-year-old Wakamatsu has competed primarily for Pancrase while compiling a 10-3 career record. “Little Pirahna” made his promotional debut in September, dropping a unanimous decision to Danny Kingad at One “Conquest of Heroes.”
Alvarez, a former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion, made his last Octagon appearance on July 28, when he suffered a second-round TKO defeat to Dustin Poirier. “The Underground King” went 4-3 with one no contest during his stint with the Las Vegas-based organization.
Nastyukhin, a 29-year-old native of Russia, is 5-3 with one and 12-3 as a professional overall. In his most recent outing, he suffered a first-round knockout loss against Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev.