ONE Championship will bring its unique brand of mixed martial arts (MMA) to stateside audiences beginning April 7, directly following AEW wrestling, with “ONE on TNT” featuring the return of former UFC champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez.
Johnson (30-3-1) will challenge Adriano Moraes (18-3) for the promotion's flyweight strap in the live ONE on TNT headliner. “Mighty Mouse” has not competed since Oct. 2019 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that shut down global operations.
As for Alvarez (30-7, 1 NC), who also sat out for the entirety of 2020, he battles No. 2-ranked lightweight contender Iuri Lapicus (14-1) in the co-main event. Elsewhere on the card, ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “Iron Man” Jitmuangnon collides with Jacob Smith in a non-title bout.
Preliminary fights stream from 9-10 p.m. ET on B/R Live, followed by three main card bouts televised exclusively on TNT at 10 p.m. ET.
“We are absolutely thrilled to kick off 2021 with the announcement of our first season of ‘ONE on TNT’,” said Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship. “We look forward to introducing our unique brand of martial arts to the U.S. on prime time. American fans can expect something fresh, new and completely different from anything that is currently available in the U.S. As always, we will feature some of the greatest World Champions across various martial arts alongside a few familiar, legendary names.”
The promotion returns on April 14 with ONE on TNT II, feature the return of reigning ONE Lightweight Champion Christian Lee, who defends his division title against No. 3-ranked contender Timofey Nastyukhin. The Russian earned his spot against “The Warrior” by smashing Alvarez during “A New Era” back in early 2019.
ONE will finish out April with TNT events on April 21 and April 28.