Demetrious Johnson Seemingly Confesses Dana White Was Always Right; Owns Up on Dreadfully Low PPV Numbers – “I Just Wasn’t Selling”

Published 01/07/2024, 2:06 PM EST

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Despite being one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, in the same league as Jon Jones, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Anderson Silva, the UFC and Dana White made little fuss when Demetrious Johnson wanted to leave the promotion in 2018. And recently he bore his heart out on the matter.

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Despite his acrimonious exit from the promotion, the flyweight seems to have a lot of respect for the UFC CEO as he revealed in a conversation with former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson on his Jaxxon Podcast. The flyweight revealed the reason behind his admiration for White, and also shed more light on why he chose to leave the UFC.

‘DJ’ explains why Dana White disparaged him in interviews

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Demetrious Johnson told ‘Rampage’ and his co-hosts that he was very happy at ONE Championship, where he is the flyweight champion and one of the biggest stars. Regardless, the champion did not seem to have carried hostility toward the UFC and Dana White. ‘Mighty Mouse’ said that when he looked back at his stint in the UFC, he realized the UFC CEO had done a good job at trying to promote him.

“I you know and sometimes when I go back and I look at videos of Dana White promoting me, I felt like he did a good job, right. He was like ‘this guy’s amazing da da da da,” ‘DJ’ expressed.

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Johnson admitted that Dana White had bad-mouthed him, even claiming that ‘DJ’ was not a draw and had the lowest-selling PPV in the promotion’s history in a TMZ interview. He did not take it to heart as the CEO has the propensity to bad-mouth fighters he was not on good terms with.

“And there are some videos of him shi***ng on me as well I think he sh**s on everybody, right. But at the same time, I just wasn’t selling in the States,” the former UFC flyweight champion added.

Johnson felt that the flyweight division had not picked up any steam when he was in the promotion, as opposed to now when it has become a more popular and competitive division. “I just think the flyweight division just wasn’t as popular as it is today,” Johnson declared.

‘DJ’ reveals why he left the UFC

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‘DJ’ also spoke at length about why he left the UFC for ONE, money being the main reason behind the move. He revealed that as the flyweight champion, he was not making the minimum $500k plus PPV points the UFC paid other champions. After his 2018 loss to former two-divisions champion Henry Cejudo, he decided to leave.

“They would never let a flyweight at my time make $500,000. That was like the standard pay for mixed martial artist for the champion… plus pay-per-view points. So for me, they would never give that to me. And when I lost to Henry Cejudo… I was like you know what I want to test I want to see if they’ll let me go because at the time they were talking about getting rid the [flyweight] division,” he added.

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What do you think about ‘DJ’s take on Dana White? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

828Articles

One take at a time

Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das

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