Dana White fires back at Demetrious Johnson and says he doesn’t even think he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Demetrious Johnson has had his say about the UFC, claiming that he’s been mistreated, bullied and intimated into accepting fights. Now, UFC president Dana White shared his version of events to media outlet TMZ, and the head promoter isn’t too happy about what ‘DJ’ had to say.
White claims that, while the media rank Johnson as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, he feels as though Conor McGregor is the P4P No. 1.
“The media claims he’s the pound for pound best fighter in the world,” White said, per TMZ. “I think Conor McGregor is the pound for pound best fighter in the world.”
That’s not what White said after ‘Mighty Mouse’ submitted Wilson Reis to defend his flyweight title for the 10th time at UFC on FOX 24, however. Back then, the 47-year-old had a completely different outlook on Johnson’s accomplishments: “Listen, he’s already the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and he strives to be better each time, and he gets better each time, literally destroying people,” White said at the post-fight press conference.
The longtime fight promoter also said Johnson never wanted pay-per-view points and says it’s ‘ridiculous’ that he doesn’t want to fight T.J. Dillashaw.
“He didn’t want Pay-Per-View. He wanted upfront money, no Pay-Per-View,” White said. “He wasn’t very confident in his abilities to sell Pay-Per-Views. He has the lowest-selling Pay-Per-View in the history of the UFC in the modern era.”
“I think a fight between him and T.J. Dillashaw would be something that people would actually be interested in and could sell Pay-Per-Views and could make money. But he absolutely refuses to fight the guy. It’s ridiculous.”
White, who has had run-ins with several champions in the past, also strongly disagrees with Johnson’s gripes about the UFC marketing machine.
“We’re not marketing him right? We built a TV show around him. ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ was about what an incredible fighter he is. We put him on Fox many times and tried to build him and it is what it is. It’s not me.”
With tensions high, it’s likely that both parties will meet behind closed doors to discuss what’s best. Johnson, 30, will probably end up defending his title against Dillashaw once things have been negotiated in private.