Ranking Past UFC Stars' Performance in ONE Championship
The shark-infested waters of ONE Championship has been on display in recent years and past UFC athletes have found that out the hard way.
75% of those making the switch to Asia's largest sports media property have tasted defeat. 63% of those have been stopped before the bouts could get to the judge's scorecards with 57% of the finishes coming by way of knockout.
The talent of ONE is off-the-charts and there are no easy bouts laid out for anyone.
Here is a look at the top performers who have stepped inside ONE's Circle in recent years.
1. John Lineker (3-0)
John "Hands of Stone" Lineker is already 3-0 inside ONE's Circle.
Lineker picked up his first ONE win at ONE: Dawn of Valor against Muin Gafurov. Lineker went all three rounds in his organizational debut but showcased his fast hands in the contest. In his return bout, Lineker went up against former ONE World Champion Kevin Belingon and got a huge second-round TKO stoppage.
The victory over Belingon put Lineker at the top of the division with his sights set on Bibiano Fernandes. Since Lineker just finished Worthen at ONE on TNT III, a massive bantamweight title tilt should be set between two of the world's most incredible martial artists.
2. Ajan Bhullar (1-0)
As a former Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Arjan Bhullar has established his grappling prowess. He was able to showcase that in his first ONE outing at ONE: Century in Tokyo.
Bhullar took home a dominant unanimous decision win over Mauro Cerilli and made a strong case for being one of the premier heavyweight contenders.
Although that was his lone ONE contest, Bhullar's track record and dominant victory makes him one of the stronger transplants to date. His eyes are set on heavyweight gold and the American Kickboxing Academy member is ready for bigger and better challenges.
3. Demetrious Johnson (3-1)
If not for the loss at ONE on TNT I, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson could have easily topped this list.
Johnson got off to a perfect 3-0 start in ONE competition by winning the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. As one of the greatest mixed martial arts athletes of all-time, Johnson added to his legacy with the Grand Prix victory.
However, in his title bid against Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes, he was stopped by a knee in the second round. The devastating knockout loss ended his streak and stymied his ascent up the ONE ladder.
Johnson is still very much at the top of the flyweight division and he will be looking to earn another shot at the gold when he steps back inside the Circle.
4. Yoshihiro Akiayama (1-1)
Yoshihiro "SexyYama" Akiyama has split his two bouts in ONE.
Akiyama dropped his debut contest at ONE: Legendary Quest against Agilan Thani by unanimous decision. However, Akiyama would return in 2020 to add to his highlight reel with a first-round KO against Sherif Mohamed at ONE: King of the Jungle.
Getting back in the win column in such a massive way shot Akiyama back up the list as he put himself in position to make noise in the welterweight division.
5. Eddie Alvarez (1-2)
Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez's beginnings in ONE have gotten off to a rough start.
In his ONE debut, Alvarez was stopped by the power of Timofey Nastyukhin. In his second bout, Alvarez felt the power Eduard Folayang. However, he overcame a slow start to finish Folayang via submission.
In Alvarez's last outing at ONE on TNT I, he was disqualified for illegal strikes against Iuri Lapicus. The roller coaster start to his ONE venture will continue at ONE on TNT IV as he returns on short notice to meet Ok Rae Yoon, who won his bout at ONE on TNT III.
6. Yushin Okami (1-2)
The Japanese legend has suffered defeat twice in ONE, but both times were to top welterweight contenders.
In his ONE debut, Kiamrian Abbasov, who is now the division's king, won by second-round TKO. In Okami's return, American grappler James Nakashima grinded out a 15-minute win by unanimous decision.
Okami would get his first win in Tokyo at ONE: Century. The powerful grappler edged out Agilan Thani on the scorecards by split decision. Okami still has the abilities that have made him a household name in the sport, but ONE's depth at welterweight has shown itself as he has struggled to get to a title shot.
7. Sage Northcutt (0-1)
"Super" Sage Northcutt has only stepped between the ropes for ONE on one occasion to date, and the American was met with brute force from Cosmo Alexandre.
Alexandre knocked him out quickly. The talented striker added to his highlights and gave the Texan a rude awakening on the global stage.
Although Northcutt appears at #7, the American has time to redeem himself in ONE. Northcutt plans to return in 2021 at his more natural weight, lightweight, in a bid to become a contender. Northcutt has all of the talent to become a World Champion and he will have to showcase it in one of the deepest divisions in the organization.
8. Daichi Abe (0-2)
Daichi Abe did not find success in Asia's largest sports media property. Abe struggled in his two matches and was stopped in both contests.
In his first ONE appearance, Abe was finished with a bodykick inside the first minute courtesy of Luis Santos. Ev Ting had his number in his second outing and finished with a second-round rear-naked choke.
The 2019 defeat was the last time Abe stepped foot inside the Circle.
- The Top Five Winningest UFC Fighters - Black Belt Magazine ›
- ONE Championship: Top 5 MMA Bouts of 2020 - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Former UFC Fighters Struggle in ONE Championship - Black Belt ... ›
- ONE on TNT IV: Final Card - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Arjan Bhullar Sounds Off On Latest Challenger, Anatoly Malykhin - Black Belt Magazine ›
- ONE Athlete Rankings Movement For October - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Adapting Muay Thai to MMA Rules: Cosmo Alexandre - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Kevin Belingon Prepared To Do 'Everything' To Defeat Kim Jae Woong At ONE on Prime Video 4 - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Sage Northcutt Returns Against Ahmed Mujtaba At ONE Fight Night 10 - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Sage Northcutt Excited For ONE Championship Return, Wants To Be Active In 2023 - Black Belt Magazine ›