When it comes to the Mt. Rushmore of Mixed Martial Arts fighters, the likes of Anderson Silva, GSP, and Jon Jones come to mind. However, there is one more champion that deserves to be on that list but unfortunately remains forgotten. The former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has had an illustrious career, despite his mistreatment by the promotion.
While the MMA community was regularly getting into an MMA GOAT debate, ‘Mighty Mouse‘ was busy etching his name in history. He ran through almost every tough contender in the flyweight division on his quest to capture the UFC gold. The 36-year-old defended his flyweight belt a whopping 11 consecutive times.
Despite owning a decorated resume, the Kentucky resident almost never got the treatment he deserved in the US-based company. Fans and fighters alike have sensed “friction,” for lack of a better word, between him and the UFC president Dana White. Johnson showcased otherworldly skills inside the Octagon while being an extremely impressive analyst on the outside.
However, Demetrious feels he never became a household name because the promotion “never marketed him.”
In a 2017 appearance on The MMA Hour, DJ shared, “For years I have been a company man and kept quiet, accepting fights, doing as they asked, and always remaining humble and grateful for the opportunities provided to me through mixed martial arts. Unfortunately, UFC’s mistreatment and bullying has finally forced me to speak out.”
Mighty Mouse continued explaining to Ariel Helwani, “I wanted a reason for not being allowed any future PPV points. Sean Shelby called and told us how smaller fighters don’t sell, [and] that UFC can’t make stars of anyone. UFC has failed to market and promote me appropriately. In my recent conversations, Sean and Dana have confirmed UFC’s lack of desire to put any effort into promoting us.”
Salary of Demetrious Johnson compared to other UFC champions
Johnson signed with the UFC in 2012 and his title reign lasted for almost 6 years, a number not many can boast about. Despite being considered arguably the #1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter, the 36-year-old perhaps never got his dues, including financial ones. While having cemented his legacy forever in the world of MMA, DJ didn’t get paid nearly what he should have.
According to mmapayout, the UFC paid Mighty Mouse $205,000 for his bout against Chris Cariaso at UFC 178. For his next main event at UFC 186, the former flyweight champ bagged a meager $125,000 against Kyoji Horiguchi. He made even less in his next headlining event at UFC 191 where he pocketed $115,000 against John Dodson. DJ’s highest payout was his last fight with the UFC against Henry Cejudo. He earned $460,000 ($370,000 to show, $90,000 in sponsorship and bonus).
If fans xompare his pay to another champion in the stable like Conor McGregor, there will be a big disparity. The Irishman made $3 million in the rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202. Whereas Robert Whittaker bagged $660,000 in his title defense against Yoel Romero at UFC 225.
It is almost criminal to think that Alistair Overeem, who never even became a UFC champion, earned his biggest payday with $860,000 against Curtis Blaydes. He made almost double of what Mighty Mouse made as a champ!
Do you think the UFC treated DJ unfairly? or did Mighty Mouse not have what it took to be a megastar in the promotion? Let us know in the comments down below.