Demetrious Johnson will make his return to action on Dec. 5 at a special ONE Championship event where he will face off with flyweight muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a special rules contest.
ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong made the announcement for the upcoming ONE X card while appearing on The MMA Hour on Wednesday.
The fight will be contested with four, three-minute rounds alternating between muay Thai and MMA. The first round will be muay Thai with four-ounce gloves before then transitioning into the second round, which will be MMA. The third round will go back to muay Thai and then the fourth round would be MMA again.
Johnson last competed in April when he suffered a stunning second-round knockout to Adriano Moraes in a ONE flyweight title fight. The fight ended after Johnson was blasted with a huge knee strike from Moraes, who added a few more punches until earning the stoppage to defend his flyweight title.
That was the first loss for Johnson in the Singapore based promotion after winning the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix in 2019. Now Johnson will look to bounce back while facing one of the most ferocious strikers on the ONE roster.
The 24-year-old Rodtang is considered by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in muay Thai with an incredible record that includes 267 wins. He’s currently undefeated in ONE Championship with 10 consecutive wins and he’ll actually compete again in October in a kickboxing bout against Daniel Puertas before then facing off with Johnson in December.
In addition to Johnson vs. Rodtang, the upcoming ONE X card on Dec. 5 will also feature a pair of title fights.
Following a two-year absence from the sport, ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will make his long-awaited return to action as he takes on UFC veteran John Lineker.
Fernandes had been embroiled in contract negotiations with ONE after securing a second straight win over Kevin Belingon to defend his bantamweight title. Overall, Fernandes has gone 11-1 in ONE with his only loss coming in a split decision to Belingon back in 2018.
Meanwhile, Lineker has looked better than ever after joining ONE in free agency following the end of his career with the UFC. The Brazilian has won three straight including vicious knockouts over Belingon and Troy Wortham in his most recent fights.
ONE featherweight champion Thanh Le will put his belt up for grabs as he takes on grappling sensation Garry Tonon.
Le is currently riding a four-fight win streak in ONE capped off by this third-round knockout over Martin Nguyen to become featherweight champion this past October.
As for Tonon, he’s still undefeated with a 6-0 record in his fighting career since transitioning to MMA full time from grappling. Tonon already holds three submission wins and a pair of TKO finishes with just one decision, which came in his last bout against Koyomi Matsushima in his last fight in December 2020.
More fights for the ONE X card will be announced in the coming weeks.