Alvarez, Johnson aiming to dominate in One Championship

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Eddie Alvarez of the United States speaks during the ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. Alvarez will make his One Championship debuts when the mixed martial arts promotion's first show takes place on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's famed home of sumo wrestling. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters Xiong Jingnan of China, left, and Angela Lee of Singapore face off during ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters Demetrious Johnson, left, of the United States and Japan's Yuya Wakamatsu, right, face off during ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. Alvarez will make their One Championship debuts when the mixed martial arts promotion's first show takes place on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's famed home of sumo wrestling. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters Eddie Alvarez, left, of the United States and Russia's Timofey Nastyukhin, right, face off during ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. Alvarez will make their One Championship debuts when the mixed martial arts promotion's first show takes place on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's famed home of sumo wrestling. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Demetrious Johnson of the United States speaks during ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. Johnson will make their One Championship debuts when the mixed martial arts promotion's first show takes place on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's famed home of sumo wrestling. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters Eduard Folayang, left, of the Philippines and Japan's Shinya Aoki face off during ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. Alvarez will make their One Championship debuts when the mixed martial arts promotion's first show takes place on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's famed home of sumo wrestling. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson will make their One Championship debuts when the mixed martial arts promotion's first show takes place on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's premier sumo venue.

Alvarez will face Russian lightweight contender Timofey Nasyukhin when he steps into the ring at the historic venue.

The American mixed martial arts star held the UFC 155-pound title in 2016 before losing it to Conor McGregor. Alvarez is from Philadelphia, but has fought in Japan several times earlier in his career.

"It's always my intention to dominate my opponent," Alvarez said Thursday. "I'm here to dominate from start to finish. I respond well to dangerous things. I've got the fight I asked for."

Nasyukhin owns the record for the fastest finish in One history when he knocked out Rob Lisita in May 2016 just seconds after the opening bell.

Johnson and Alvarez are two former UFC champions who moved to the Singapore-based One Championship this year.

Johnson, the long-reigning UFC flyweight champion, will take on Japanese flyweight Yuya Wakamatsu.

"I look forward to challenging Yuya Wakamatsu, he's a great Japanese athlete," Johnson said. "It's going to be interesting. He comes from a great camp. It's been a long time coming for me to be here in Japan and fight in front of my Japanese fans."

The show will also feature atomweight champion Angela Lee's move up to challenge One strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan. Middleweight champion Aung La N Sang and lightweight champion Eduard Folayang also will defend their belts against Japanese challengers.

The original Ryogoku Kokugikan first opened in 1909. The current building was opened in 1985 and has a capacity of 11,000.

One has staged shows across Asia from Myanmar to China over the past seven years, but waited to take its shot at the martial arts-loving fan base in Japan, where several major MMA organizations have risen and fallen over the years. One also plans to debut in Vietnam and South Korea later in 2019.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

Must Read

Tibet to suspend foreign visits until after party...

Sep 25, 2017

A Chinese tourism official says visits by foreigners to Tibet will be suspended until the close of...

Senior US diplomat pitches arms sales in China's...

Feb 5, 2018

The top U.S. diplomat overseeing arms sales said she would be promoting American weaponry at the...

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and beyond welcome...

Feb 16, 2018

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and around the world have been celebrating the Lunar New Year Friday

Panda Beer anyone? Craft beers flow in...

May 19, 2018

Hundreds of craft beer enthusiasts, investors and brewers are attending an exhibition in Shanghai...

Chairman of China's HNA Group dies in accident in...

Jul 5, 2018

China's HNA Group says co-chairman Wang Jian has died in France