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UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson Blasts His Lack Of Pay And Appreciation

Demetrious Johnson holds an open

An interview with ESPN The Magazine gave Demetrious Johnson the platform to air his grievances with the modern state of the sport of MMA.

The current flyweight champion tops the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, along with that of the majority of MMA outlets. His latest win over Wilson Reis last month brought his string of title defences to ten, tying the record of all-time great Anderson Silva.

The impressive submission victory had UFC president Dana White admitting that it was ‘hard not to call’ Mighty Mouse the ‘greatest of all time’.

However, the 30-year-old isn’t a marquee name alongside the likes of Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey, and he sure isn’t paid the same as those megastars. While that trio have backed up their riches in the Octagon, others have not, and the reality of the sport in 2017 is something that understandably irks Johnson.

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and Tim Elliott

“There is not another sport in the world where you can be the best at it but not get paid the best.”, he told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

“When CM Punk signed, I said, “CM Punk will probably make more money than I do on his very first fight.”

And he did. I think his payout was $500,000 [with Johnson typically making 400k per fight]. I have nothing against CM Punk, but if you look at the sheer nonsense of that, it doesn’t make sense. I know that he’s going to sell a lot of tickets, but he can’t fight! That’s why I’ve said the UFC should just try to sign that “Cash Me Outside” girl, because she’ll talk shit and probably outsell everybody.”

The demarcation of pay comes from the fans, and that topic proves difficult for Johnson to stay polite over. The fixation on the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather match-up is another sticking point, especially in relation to hype and trash-talking – now two staples of the sport.

“MMA has the rudest, most negative, dumbest, ignorant fans in the world-but it also has the most passionate fans in the world”, he continued.

“I guess I’m bothered by how fans react to certain things and how they’re interested in certain things over true talent. I’m asked, “What do you think about the Conor/Floyd fight?” My truthful answer is that I would rather see Conor defend his UFC belt and that I don’t think him going to boxing makes any sense. Another answer I could give would be, “Fuck Conor! Fuck Floyd! I’ll beat them both on the same night, they both suck!”

And people would eat that up way more than a man giving his honest, truthful opinion. That’s what’s sad about this sport, and social media, today.”

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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.