White clarifies his position regarding Johnson’s claims of bullying.
Most of what he said was not true. He didn’t want pay-per-view. He wanted up front money. He wasn’t very confident in his abilities in selling pay-per-views. He has the lowest selling pay=per-views in the history of the UFC in the modern era. No 2: I think that a fight between him and TJ Dillashaw is something that people would be actually interested in, and could sell pay-per-views, and could make money. But he absolutely refuses to fight the guy. It’s ridiculous…We’re not marketing him? We built a TV show around him. The Ultimate Fighter was about what an incredible fighter his is. We put him on Fox many times and tried to build him. It is what it is…I’m bullying you? How do you bully the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world?..The media claims he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. I think Conor McGregor is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Conor will fight anybody, anywhere, any time. If Demetrious is the best P4P then fight TJ Dillashaw. Fight someone people actually care about.
Johnson releases a lengthy statement in which he complains about multiple issues, including lack of promotion, from the UFC. He says White has been trying to bully him to take fights he does not want.
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. This is how I was raised through the sport. Unfortunately, UFC’s mistreatment and bullying has finally forced me to speak out…
- I agreed to their tyrannical demand to fight Ray Borg and Ray also agreed.
- UFC has refused to give me PPV points on any future flyweight bouts, and has never given me any PPV points on previous bouts. My request was fair and the matchmaker in charge of the flyweight and bantamweight division agreed.
- I gave UFC fair conditions to change the fight to TJ Dillashaw and they refused.
- Dana and Sean have told me that they have no interest in marketing me or the smaller divisions, so when they say that I will make PPV money vs. Dillashaw, they leave out the fact that I have to hit certain numbers of buys, which will not be hit if they fail in marketing me like they have in my previous fights.
- If TJ doesn’t make weight, I can’t break the record for the most consecutive title defenses and they have denied paying me in that circumstance.
- Dana has made an effort to bully me in the media as well as in private, in order to get what he wants, even though it is not what is best for me or the sport.
- If Dana says this will be a big PPV fight for me, and that they will promote it properly, then he can pay for it up front and explain to Ray Borg why he is being taken out of the fight that the UFC matchmaker in charge of the division put him in. Otherwise, it is just another lie and attempt to bully me to do something that Dana wants, but is not the right thing to do for the sport or my career.
- UFC’s track record in making an effort to promote my fights, and Dana’s claim that this is a big chance for PPV dollars for me tells a different story than what Dana is stating to the public.
When Johnson is asked about his winning streak and the possibility of losing, he brings up Rousey.
You look at Ronda Rousey. You got your ass beat, grow the f-ck up. It happens. It’s mixed martial arts. I don’t want to be like that. If I lose, I’ll be like, I lost…Everybody f-cking loses. It’s part of the sport. Grow up. Look, Ronda, you lost two f-cking fights in a row, and you made more f-cking money than the women’s roster. You’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.
Johnson says he cried a lot when he lost to Pickett in 2010 and cried even more after falling to Cruz.
I was like, It’s part of life, you’re going to f-cking lose, I’m over it. I came home and nothing changed. Nothing changed. Nobody said, ‘You f-cking suck, blah, blah, blah.’ When I started to win, nothing still changed. The only thing that changed is people started to recognize me more. So now that’s my mindset. Somebody came to me and told me: ‘You know what I love about you?’ ‘What?’ ‘The outcome of your fights never dictates the person you are.
With Dillashaw believing that Garbrandt has pulled out of his UFC 213 bout, White confirms that he is looking to fight Johnson at 215 pounds.
TJ Dillashaw called me this morning. And said ‘if Cody can’t fight, what I would love to do is stop Demetrious Johnson from breaking the record’. So that’s fun. Right? And there’s something Anderson Silva might appreciate.
White says a fight between McGregor and Johnson is unlikely, but possible.
Conor McGregor has got a long line of people waiting on him…Umm, no. I don’t see that [the fight will happen]…Listen, I didn’t think that Nate Diaz was going to fight either. Anything is possible. We’ll see.
At the post fight press conference Johnson jokes about his preferred next match up, and talks about money fights in UFC.
[My next fight] would be Chael Sonnen, because he’d sell the hell out of that pay-per-view. You said pick a name and I did — there you go…Nowadays, everybody’s talking about big-money fights, right? … I am not afraid of one man in this whole UFC Octagon roster. I truly don’t care. What’s going to happen to me? I lose? I get knocked out? A lot of people are coming … ‘Ooh, fight him, he’s scared’ … I’m like, ‘Dude. I will f-cking fight Conor McGregor for the biggest payday of my life. If I got knocked out, perfect. Thanks, Conor. You weigh 170 pounds, but guess what? I’m going to be laughing all the way to the bank. But if you ask me who would I like to fight, and I know I’m going to make the most money, I’ll fight Conor McGregor.
After Johnson’s win over Wilson Reis he says an 11th defence would take priority over a bantamweight superfight with Cody Garbrandt or T.J. Dillashaw. He also says he expects serious pay raise no matter who he’s facing.
I already told Dana White: I need seven figures, you know? I need a million-dollar payday.
Johnston says he should be ranked above McGregor in UFC pound-for-pound rankings.
You know what, I believe [I should be ahead of McGregor in pound-for-pound rankings], I think I am. I think going out there and showing everything in my last fight. I showed I had a good clinch. TKO’d Henry Cejudo. Joseph Benavidez just went three rounds with him even though it was an improved Henry Cejudo. But, those guys never really took the fight to different places. Those guys didn’t really fight in the clinch, or use the wrestling aspect, or the grappling…I’ve knocked people out from the clinch. I’ve submitted people from armbars, Kimura, last-second armbars. I’ve knocked people out with one-hand punch.