Tom Petty once said, “It’s good to be king.” That is unless you are the pound-for-pound king, Demetrious Johnson.
It has been no secret the UFC has been wanting to put together a bout between Johnson and former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. Johnson has been very open to the idea, but he rightfully believes he deserves to be paid accordingly. Multiple times during his gaming stream on Twitch.tv, Johnson has stated he would take the fight for $2M dollars. However, it now seems UFC President Dana White is taking to extremes to “persuade” Mighty Mouse into taking the fight on short money.
According to a transcript from his official Discord server, Johnson stated White threatened to remove the flyweight division—among other threats—if Johnson did not fight Dillashaw in his next bout instead of Ray Borg, who Johnson was already in a full MMA training camp for.
There are many points brought up in his lengthy statement, but here are some of the notable statements that need attention paid to:
Johnson was told he would earn PPV points by fighting Borg.
Johnson stated bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt was willing to face him at 125lbs, but UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard and White “commanded” Johnson to fight Borg.
Maynard told Johnson taking the fight with Borg would lead to receiving points in his subsequent PPV appearance, but White and Sean Shelby told Maynard to inform Johnson he would no longer receive PPV points at flyweight.
Selby told Johnson “smaller fighters don’t sell,” “the UFC can’t make stars of anyone (at flyweight),” and “a fight between Johnson and Garbrandt makes no sense.”
Johnson stated after agreeing to the bout with Borg, White angrily told him that he was fighting TJ with no other option or say so in his career and against the plans they had previously laid out.
White said if Johnson didn’t take the fight with Dillashaw, he would drop the entire flyweight division.
Johnson made what he believed as a fair offer to fight Dillashaw, but White refused his conditions.
White resorted to other threats and demands to make Johnson fight Dillashaw instead of Borg.
The MMA Corner reached out to White, Borg, and Johnson for comment. As of publishing, none of the parties has responded to our request for a statement.
Johnson is scheduled to be on The MMA Hour later this afternoon. We will report any new news that may come from the interview and should we receive comments from any of the parties involved.